Of the two main stories -- a Reuters article by Jonathan Stempel, "Saudi Arabia seeks to end U.S. lawsuits over Sept. 11 attacks," and one by Creede Newton in Al Jazeera, nearly identically headlined, "Saudi Arabia seeks to end US lawsuits over 9/11 attacks" -- you would expect Al Jazeera's to be more hard-hitting since it is being, or was recently, targeted for closure by al-Saud. But it wasn't the case. I found the Reuters piece to be better, but not by much:
Saudi Arabia is being sued for billions of dollars by the families of roughly 2,500 of those killed, more than 20,000 people who suffered injuries, businesses and various insurers.
"It is what we expected," James Kreindler, a lawyer representing the wrongful death claimants, said in an interview, referring to Tuesday's filing. "We have tons of allegations of what many Saudis and the country's alter ego charities did. Saudi Arabia cannot hide from the facts."
In September 2015, U.S. District Judge George Daniels, who oversees the litigation, had dismissed claims by victims' families.
But last September, the U.S. Congress overrode a veto by President Barack Obama and adopted the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which permits such claims to proceed.
In Tuesday's filing, Saudi Arabia acknowledged that JASTA eliminated some of its defenses.
But it said the plaintiffs still could not show that any Saudi official, employee or agent planned or carried out the attacks.
It said this included Omar Al Bayoumi, said to be a Saudi intelligence officer who met with two hijackers in San Diego and been "tasked" to help them, including by finding an apartment and opening a bank account.There is this compelling paragraph in the Al Jazeera story:
Former Senator Bob Graham, the co-chair of Congress's 9/11 Joint Inquiry and one of the voices alleging the Saudis and the hijackers were connected, told Politico he no longer called the US government's actions a "cover-up". That would be "a passive activity. What they're doing now I call aggressive deception."That's because the USG and KSA are, like gut flora, locked in symbiosis.