A lawsuit representing the families and estates of about 800 victims of 9/11 has been filed in Manhattan federal court, with the Saudi Arabian government in its sights, WPIX and NBC News report. Of the 19 plane hijackers that day, 15 were Saudi nationals, and three of those reportedly had employment history with the government there. Accusations in the newest consolidated complaint, compiled in large part via an FBI investigation, include embassy officials being instrumental in assimilating some of the 9/11 attackers into the US via English instruction, funding assistance, and help in finding a place to live. Saudi authorities also allegedly offered special passport codes to a handful of the terrorists that smoothed their way into the US. The suit also says Saudi royals turned a blind eye regarding money they donated to certain "charities," which was really being shifted to al-Qaeda.
"The Saudis were so duplicitous," aviation attorney Jim Kreindler tells WPIX, noting while Saudi Arabia was putting up a good front as a US ally, it was secretly enabling terrorism. (USA Today notes Kreindler's law firm is handling the new suit, which is seeking unspecified monetary damages.) Per NBC, more than a half-dozen lawsuits against the Saudi government have filtered into federal court since September, when Congress rejected then-President Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which gave families of 9/11 victims a way to circumvent sovereign immunity to sue the Saudis. Obama was against JASTA, saying the tables could be turned so other nations can file suit against the US. Attorneys for families and the Saudis are to appear in court Thursday to hammer out the multi-case logistics. (The Saudis obviously don't like JASTA.)