Saudi Royals Request Removal From 911 Lawsuit
July 31, 2015
[Every news report about this Saudi request for immunity begins with the same disclaimer.]
"Saudi Arabia had nothing to do with the 11 September, 2001, attacks and should be dismissed from lawsuits."
Saudi Arabia had nothing to do with the 11 September, 2001, attacks and should be dismissed from lawsuits brought by victims' families, a lawyer for the kingdom has told a judge.
The country was dropped as a defendant nine years ago by a judge, who argued it was protected by sovereign immunity.
But in December 2013 a federal appeals court reinstated it, saying there was a legal exception because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the terror attack.
Lawyer Michael Kellogg made the argument before a Manhattan federal judge. He said there were no facts showing Saudi Arabia knew of the attacks in advance, or knowingly aided terrorists.
Mr Kellogg said the plaintiffs had failed to allege "admissible, concrete, competent evidence" of Saudi Arabia's involvement, but had instead relied on innuendo and rumour to support their claims.
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U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is pictured with senior staff in the President's Emergency Operations Center in Washington in the hours following the September 11, 2001 attacks in this U.S National Archives handout photo
He argued that foreign nations are immune to such lawsuits.
Speaking for the 11 September families, lawyer Sean Carter said the judge must decide whether there is sufficient evidence to find that Saudi Arabia agents provided terrorists with "operational assistance".
He said that two Saudi government employees held two of the hijackers who could not speak English to find an apartment when they arrived in San Diego.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabian citizens.
One of the government employees put the hijackers up at his apartment, co-signed and guaranteed their lease and helped them to open a bank account with $9,000 of his own money.
Lawyers have said they have developed new evidence against Saudi Arabia since a 11 September Commission report found no evidence the Saudi government or senior Saudi officials had individually funded al Qaeda.
The lawsuits were brought from 2002 against countries, companies and organisations accused of aiding the terror group and others. They are seeking billions of dollars in damages.
This article appeared
at Mail Online
EXCLUSIVE: Bin Laden's 'stepmother and sister among four killed' after their private jet crashes into a UK car auction when it tried to land near London
Plane overshot the runway at Blackbushe Airport on Hampshire border
The £7m jet crashed into a carpark and exploded after hitting the ground
The aircraft, a £7m Brazilian-built Embraer Phenom 300, was destroyed
Police are investigating whether three members of family were on board
By Darren Boyle
31 July 2015 | Updated: 05:31 GMT, 1 August 2015
Osama Bin Laden's stepmother and sister are thought to be among four people killed after a private jet owned by the family crashed into a fireball after overshooting a runway while trying to land outside London.
The £7million Embraer Phenom 300 was owned by Salem Aviation in Jeddah, which is controlled by the dead terrorist’s family.
The Brazilian-built aircraft exploded after ploughing into a carpark killing the pilot and three passengers. Saudi Arabian media reported that Bin Laden's stepmother and sister were among the four people killed, as well as their Jordanian pilot.
The jet was completely destroyed after it overshot the runway while trying to land at the Blackbushe Airport on the Hampshire-Surrey border.
Emergency services raced to the scene shortly after 3pm when the aircraft crashed into an overflow car park attached to the British Car Auction.
The Saudi Arabian embassy in London expressed their condolences to the Bin Laden family for their loss following yesterday's accident.
Although based in Saudi Arabia, the plane was flying into Hampshire from Milan. The Bin Ladens have interests in northern Italy.
The crash is not being treated as terrorism-related.
According to AvGen Limited, who monitor flights arriving and departing Heathrow Airport, their equipment picked up the doomed jet as it approached Blackbushe Airport.
Their data suggests that the aircraft was flying at 1,250 feet when it approached the airfield. It then climbed rapidly 500 feet. When the pilot steered the jet to the runway, he started losing height at a rate of 3,000 feet per minute in the moments before the crash.
Bin Laden's father Mohammed originally registered the tail number of the aircraft involved in today's crash in the 1960s.
BIN LADEN FAMILY STILL BIG BUSINESS IN SAUDI ARABIAHe was flying the aircraft with the number HZ-IBN, when he crashed in 1967, however his family retained the registration.
The Saudi Red Sea trading port of Jeddah is the business HQ for the construction family's fabulously successful Saudi BinLadin Group (SBG).
The Bin Ladens made their money by gaining exclusive rights to all religious building projects under Saudi control in Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, Mohammed Bin Laden then branched out into lucrative civil projects.
More than a dozen Bin Laden brothers and half-brothers sit on the SBG board and help to run its operations from regional HQs across the Middle East.
SBG is estimated to be worth many billions of pounds.
The aircraft was registered to Salem Aviation - which was named after the dead terrorist's eldest brother, who himself died in a crash in 1988 when he ploughed into power lines in San Antonio, Texas.
A source close to Saudi Arabian authorities said: ‘Saudi officials in contact with members of the (bin Laden) family.
They are aware of the reports and are carrying out checks with members of the family for further information.’
A spokesman for Blackbushe Airport said: 'A Phenom 300 Jet with four persons on board crashed near the end of the runway around 3.09 PM while attempting to make a landing.
'The scene was attended by Blackbushe Fire & Rescue within minutes, followed by Hampshire Fire, Police and Ambulance units.
'Emergency services are currently controlling the scene.'
The South East Coast Ambulance Service sent out a tweet saying they have had reports of four casualties after the incident near Farnborough.
The aircraft is understood to have been owned by a Saudi Arabian national.
All staff and customers at the British Car Auction site escaped unharmed.
Go to the Mail Online to read the entire article.
Osama Bin Laden's 'stepmother and sister feared among dead in private jet crash'
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