Tit for tat: Saudis to sue U.S.

Tit for tat: Saudis to sue U.S.

By Joe Baker, Senior Editor

A lawyer for a group of Saudis says they plan to sue the U.S. government and several media organizations for what they claim is psychological and financial damage suffered after the Sept. 11 attacks.

“Tens of Saudi nationals seriously plan to file lawsuits against U.S. government, civil and media entities, the majority of whom are students who had been attending American universities and were forced to leave,” Saudi lawyer Katib al-Shamri told Reuters News Service.

Al-Shamri said the plan gathered momentum after survivors of some 900 victims of 9-11 filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. against Saudi nationals and institutions, alleging they had financed terrorism and asking damages of more than $100 trillion.

The American lawsuit names three senior Saudi princes, several Saudi and other foreign banks and Sudan’s government and accuses them of financing Osama bin Laden, who is believed responsible for the attacks.

Saudi banks deny having anything to do with financing terrorism and claim the lawsuit is an attempt to extort Saudi wealth and to pressure Saudi Arabia to support U.S. policies on Iraq and the Mideast.

“We had been waiting to raise funds to hire U.S. lawyers and also for things to quiet down in the United States, but it seems the campaign against Saudi Arabia is continuing with that bogus and politicized U.S. lawsuit,” al-Shamri told Reuters.

“Our case will seek reasonable compensation,” he said. “It is the right time to proceed.”

Hundreds of Saudis have been questioned by U.S. investigators probing the September attacks. Washington said of the 19 alleged hijackers, 15 were Saudis.

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