As the long-awaited civil trial of a lawsuit brought by families of Sept. 11 victims against the Saudi government, Saudi Arabia’s lawyers asked the US judge presiding over the case to throw out lawsuits claiming agents in the Saudi government helped al-Qaeda carry out the terror attacks in New York and Washington, arguing the victims haven’t provided any evidence to back their cases.
The Daily News reported that Attorney Michael Kellogg said lawyers for the Sept. 11 families have submitted 4,000 pages of materials as part of the suit accusing Saudi Arabia of providing material support to Al Qaeda ahead of the terror attacks.
“Conclusions, speculation, hearsay are not enough,” Kellogg told US District Judge George Daniels at the hearing in Manhattan on Thursday.
“But there are no significant facts or evidence in the materials,” Kellogg said.
The families of hundreds of victims who died during the attacks filed the landmark suit last March, six months after Congress passed a bill known as Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism, or JASTA. Thanks to the law, a federal appeals court in New York late last year revived part of a $1.68 billion lawsuit against Iran’s central bank, Bank Markazi, by families of soldiers killed in the 1983 bombing of the US Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon.
he legislation, which was famously opposed by the Obama administration, opened the door for Americans to take legal action against countries that support terrorism.
However, Kellogg said the families seem to be taking the position that the law enabling their lawsuit provides all the cover they need to avoid it being quashed by a judge.
“The whole pitch seems to be JASTA itself is enough to see them over the line,” Kellogg said.
Sean Carter, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs, argued there’s extensive evidence that the Saudi rulers funded certain charities despite knowing that they funneled money to Al Qaeda. Of course, as we reported in July 2016, Congress released a long-classified report – the fabled “28 pages” – that was left out of the official 9/11 Commission report.
The secret documents were part of the 2002 congressional investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks. They had previously been classified since the report’s completion. Democrats hailed the release as vindication for the Saudis, but some of their contents would suggest otherwise.
For example, the pages revealed that a telephone number found in the phone book of al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaida, who was captured in Pakistan in March 2002, was for an Aspen, Colo., corporation that managed the “affairs of the Colorado residence of the Saudi Ambassador Bandar,” the documents show.
Osama Bassnan, who the documents identify as a financial supporter of two of the 9/11 hijackers in San Diego, received money from Bandar, and Bassnan’s wife also got money from Bandar’s wife. “One at least one occasion,” the documents show, “Bassnan received a check directly from Prince Bandar’s account. According to the FBI, on May 14, 1998, Bassnan cashed a check from Bandar in the amount of $15,000. Bassnan’s wife also received at least one check directly from Bandar.”
The top two members of the House Intelligence Committee – including Trump antagonist Adam Schiff – at the time cautioned that much of the information in the newly released pages were not “vetted conclusions.”
Schiff said he hopes the newly released pages will reduce the continued speculation over Saudi involvement. “I hope that the release of these pages, with appropriate redactions necessary to protect our nation’s intelligence sources and methods, will diminish speculation that they contain proof of official Saudi Government or senior Saudi official involvement in the 9/11 attacks,” Schiff said in a statement. “The Intelligence Community and the 9/11 Commission…investigated the questions they raised and was never able to find sufficient evidence to support them. I know that the release of these pages will not end debate over the issue, but it will quiet rumors over their contents — as is often the case, the reality is less damaging than the uncertainty.”
Kellogg even pointed to the report, saying it conclusively showed the Saudi government was not involved with 9/11…
In making his case for the suit to be scrapped, Kellogg also pointed to the findings of the 9/11 Commission report, which he said cleared Saudi Arabia of funding the attacks.
The controversial report concluded that the panel “found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually” supplied money to Al Qaeda. But it did say that unidentified wealthy Saudi sympathizers, as well as Saudi charities, helped to finance the terror group.
“The 9/11 commission report, including its conclusions, is legitimate evidence before this court,” Kellogg said.
However, Sean Carter, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs, cited a CIA report naming a Saudi-backed charity as one of the principal financiers for the terrorist network.
Carter, the lawyer for one of the plaintiffs, referenced a CIA report that he said named a Saudi-backed charity as a principal funder of a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.
“In the course leading up to 9/11, it was Saudi money that…allowed them to maintain an organization,” Carter said.
The suit filed in March says Saudi Arabia assisted the 9/11 hijackers “through a network of the kingdom’s officers” and funneled money to terrorists for years through a number of charities.
The kingdom “actively supported Al Qaeda in its final preparations” for the terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, the suit adds.
‘United Kingdom trying hard to disguise their massive Muslim problem.’ – Trump Tweets
Donald Trump has claimed the UK is “trying hard to disguise their massive Muslim problem”.
The statement from the controversial Republican hopeful is the latest log on a bonfire of remarks that have brought almost wall-to-wall press coverage and near-international condemnation.
More than 400,000 people signing a petition asking parliament to ban Trump from entering the UK, after he called for a “complete shutdown” on Muslim immigration to the US on Monday.
He also said parts of London and Paris were “so radicalised” many police officers were “afraid for their very lives” when they entered.
The Metropolitan Police issued a statement flatly contradicting Trump’s remarks, noting: “We would not normally dignify such comments with a response, however, on this occasion we think it’s important to state to Londoners that Mr Trump could not be more wrong.”
Columnist Katie Hopkins, once condemned by the United Nations for describing refugees as “cockroaches”, also praised Trump’s remarks. She claimed Britain was “a radicalised nation and it does nobody any favours to deny the obvious”
Mall Of America Slasher Actions Were ‘Act Of Jihad’
(Via The Daily Wire)
Remember the young Minneapolis man who slashed two brothers inside Macy’s at the Mall of America last November, and how the police referred to the incident as an “interrupted theft”?
So much for that theory; last week, Mahad A. Abdiraham, 20, admitted responsibility for the attack but offered a different reason for slicing two young men, one suffering cuts to the bone and the other needing dozens of stitches: he was answering the “Call for Jihad” from the leader of Islamic State.
As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports, Abdiraham made this statement during his guilty plea:
I went to Mall of America to answer the call for Jihad by the Chief of the Believers, Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi — may Allah protect him — and by the Mujahiden of the Islamic State [ISIS]. … I am here reaffirming that it was indeed an act of Jihad in the way of Allah. … I want the reason for my attack to be clear to this court and to the public, so that you may understand that you will never be safe as long as your country is at war with Islam. And that the threat of death [or] imprisonment will never deter us from fighting for the sake of Allah.
On November 12, Alexander Sanchez joined members of his family at Macy’s and was exiting a dressing room when he attempted to move Abdiraham out of his way. Abdiraham reacted by slashing him with an 8-inch knife. Sanchez’s brother John and another family member intervened; John Sanchez grabbed the knife as he was sliced on his hands and his back; others joined the fray and subdued Abdiraham.
According to the Star-Tribune, Alexander Sanchez’s head was scarred and his arms were cut to the bone in the attack, precipitating a blood transfusion; his older brother needed dozens of stitches to close his wounds.
Cindy Leon, the brothers’ aunt, stated, “This evil human being was trying to kill Alex and John because of his stupid beliefs. I want the world to know the truth. … Everyone needs to know this was a terrorist attack.” She added that Alex Sanchez “can’t move one side of his face” and is undergoing physical and psychological therapy. Leon said that when Abdiraham made his statement, she said to him, “Don’t you feel something?” She said, “He just laughed.”
Vegas Massacre Now Has A ‘Second Person Of Interest’
While the FBI’s official report on the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas – the deadliest in American history – a judge on Tuesday unsealed 300 pages of search warrant records, including a document that appears to validate claims that shooter Steven Paddock may have had help planning his attack.
That’s because the documents revealed, for the first time, a publicly identified “person of interest” whose name has thus far not been publicly reported as part of the investigation, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
“Until the investigation can rule otherwise, Marilou Danley and Douglas Haig have become persons of interest who may have conspired with Stephen Paddock to commit Murder with a Deadly Weapon,” according to the Metropolitan Police Department document, which was prepared in October.
Danley was in Australia when Paddock carried out his deadly attack. She was reportedly “sent away” by Paddock, her boyfriend of several years, who apparently had a history of domineering behavior toward her.
Haig could not be reached by the RJ. When contacted by phone Tuesday about the newly released name, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said only, “If you’ve got it, publish it.” He said he could not comment on a federal case. The FBI refused to comment.
During a Jan. 20 update on the LVPD’s investigation, Lombardo noted that the FBI had an open investigation into a second person of interest, but also said that Paddock was the only shooter. He also said he didn’t anticipate Danley facing criminal charges.
Lombardo also said he did not anticipate Danley facing any criminal charges.
“I know and believe there was only one suspect who killed 58 people and injured hundreds more,” Lombardo said. “All the evidence recovered in this case supports that theory. There was one shooter in the 1 October massacre. There was only one person responsible, and that was Stephen Paddock.”
Paddock’s brother Eric Paddock told the RJ that he does not know Haig. The documents were unsealed at the request of the RJ and a handful of other media outlets.