US Judge: 9/11 Lawsuit Against Saudi Arabia Can Proceed

Says it meets requirements for court to assume jurisdiction
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 29, 2018 6:44 PM CDT
Judy Caldwell, left, talks with John Pristas as she visits the fire company's 9/11 Memorial in front of their station during ceremonies marking the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001,...   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(Newser) – A judge on Wednesday rejected Saudi Arabia's motion to end a New York lawsuit seeking to hold it responsible in the Sept. 11 attacks, the AP reports. In dismissing the motion, US District Judge George Daniels said the plaintiffs' allegations met the requirements for the court to assume jurisdiction under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. Congress passed the act in 2016 over then-President Obama's veto, allowing the claims to go forward against Saudi Arabia after they were rejected once in the courts. "This is really a historic day for the families," said Sean Carter, attorney for the plaintiffs. "The families have been trying for many years to have an opportunity for the Saudi government to answer on the merits." A message seeking comment from lawyers representing the Saudi government was not immediately returned.

In Wednesday's ruling, he also dismissed claims against two Saudi banks and a construction company with ties to Osama bin Laden, saying he lacked jurisdiction. Hundreds of victims' relatives and injured survivors, along with injured corporations, sued the Saudi government in 2003, saying its employees knowingly assisted hijackers who carried out the attacks and fueled al-Qaeda's development into a terrorist organization by funding charities that supported the group. Fifteen of the 19 attackers were Saudis. Per Reuters, Daniels said plaintiffs could attempt to show that Saudi Arabia was responsible for the alleged actions of two Saudis living in the US who allegedly helped some of the hijackers transition to life in the US and get ready for the attacks.The Saudi government has long denied any involvement in the attacks.


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