In several cases, hundreds of victims’ relatives and injured survivors, along with insurance companies and businesses say, the Saudi government assisted the attacks through a variety of activities in support of al-Qaeda over a number of years.
Recently submitted evidence in an ongoing lawsuit against Saudi Arabia claims that its embassy in Washington DC may have funded a “dry run” using two of its employees before the events of September 11.
It alleges the embassy paid for two Saudi nationals to fly from Phoenix to Washington two years before planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and slammed into a field in Pennsylvania as part of a “dry run” for the attacks.
According to the court filing there is was a “pattern of both financial and operational support” from the Saudi government that aided the nationals, Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalaw, in 1999. In fact, the Saudi government may have been involved in underwriting the attacks from the earliest stages – including testing cockpit security.
As reported by the New York Post, the embassy might have used two of its employees for the so-called dry run before a dozen hijackers flew two planes into the Twin Towers, killing almost 3,000 people in 2001.
As per the legal documents accessed by The New York Times, the Saudi embassy funded the U.S. visit of two KSA nationals – Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi – in 1999.
Sean Carter, the lead attorney for the 9/11 plaintiffs, said that this is proof of the “longstanding and close relationships between Al-Qaeda and the religious components of the Saudi government”.
The Saudi government has long denied any links to the terrorists and lawyers representing the government have filed motions to dismiss the claims.
Qudhaeein and Shalawi both worked for and received money from the Saudi government, with Qudhaeein employed at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
The evidence claims both had also spent time in Afghanistan, where they working with the al Qaeda.
In a November 1999 America West flight to Washington, the Saudi students reportedly tried multiple times to gain access to the cockpit of the plane.
Last month, Saudi Arabia asked a U.S. judge to drop the cases against it, arguing that the plaintiffs had failed to generate sufficient evidence to subject the kingdom to the $100-billion lawsuits.
“When the plane was in flight, al-Qudhaeein asked where the bathroom was; one of the flight attendants pointed him to the back of the plane”, it added.
Pilots were forced to make an emergency landing in OH, where Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Qudhaeein and Shalawi.
Their plane tickets were reportedly paid for by the Saudi Embassy, according to Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband was killed in 9/11. The pair were in “frequent contact” with Saudi officials while in the USA, according to the filings. Awlaki ministered to some of the hijackers and helped them obtain housing and IDs.
As the 16th anniversary of the deadly 9/11 terror attack approaches, a major accusation has been levelled against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Mr Carter said the allegations in the class action lawsuit were based on nearly 5,000 pages of evidence. Hundreds of thousands of USA documents regarding Saudi Arabia remain secret.