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Saudi Arabia’s lawyer says families in 9/11 suit have no evidence

A lawyer for Saudi Arabia urged a judge to toss a lawsuit filed by the families of 9/11 victims, arguing there’s no evidence that the kingdom was complicit in the attack.

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.

“But there are no significant facts or evidence in the materials,” Kellogg, who represents Saudi Arabia, said Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court.

The families of hundreds of 9/11 victims filed the landmark suit last March six months after Congress passed a bill known as Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism, or JASTA.

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The legislation, which was opposed by the Obama administration, opened the door for Americans to take legal action against countries that support terrorism.

But Kellogg said in court that 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.

He also said that plaintiffs “are repeatedly trying to paint Islam itself as a form of terrorism.”

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“That’s not evidence,” he said. “That is not proper.”

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers responsible for the deadliest attack on U.S. soil were from Saudi Arabia.

To bolster his argument, Kellogg 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.

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“The 9/11 commission report, including its conclusions, is legitimate evidence before this court,” Kellogg 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.

saudi arabia
september 11 terrorist attacks

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