Monday, June 29, 2009

Statement for the Family of John P. O'Neill in Response to U.S. Supreme Court's Refusal to Hear 9/11 Victims' Case Against Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Statement by Counsel for the Family of John P. O'Neill in Response to U.S. Supreme Court's Refusal to Hear 9/11 Victims' Case Against Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Others

/PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Jerry S. Goldman of Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C., counsel to the family of John P. O'Neill, Sr.:

We are disappointed by today's decision by the United States Supreme Court to refuse to hear the case brought by the family of the late American hero, John P. O'Neill, on behalf of the victims of 9/11 against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and others. Federal Insurance Company, et al., v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, et al., No. 08-640 (6/29/09).

We are saddened to see that the Court declined to apply its traditional standards for accepting a case for review. We assume that it relied upon the arguments propounded by the Executive branch and the defendants to deny the 9/11 victims their day in Court against certain sovereign nations, such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that we allege materially support terrorists.

We note, however, that there are still cases pending in the lower courts against other sovereign nations unaffected by the Supreme Court's ruling.

We note, too, that there are still cases pending against other defendants seeking to hold them accountable for their actions in assisting Al Qaeda.

At the Supreme Court, the Justice Department argued that the decision of the Second Circuit was only of limited impact on the other defendants in the case. We can only assume that the Justice Department will be consistent with the arguments that they propounded before the Supreme Court. Similarly, we are looking forward to their filings as to the scope of sovereign immunity.

We are optimistic that the lower courts will allow the rest of the lawsuit to proceed, as we believe that it is obvious that a United States court is the appropriate forum for hearing claims brought for harms suffered by individuals and businesses on American soil, whether against the terrorists who hijacked planes to wreak death and mass destruction, or against those, who provided the material support enabling terrorists to wreak death and destruction.

We look forward to finally proceeding with discovery and allowing justice to prevail.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Chambliss, Isakson Statement on Administration’s F-22 Veto Threat

Senate Armed Services Defense Authorization Bill Includes Funding for Seven Additional F-22s

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today made the following statements regarding the administration’s veto threat over funding for additional F-22s:

"In the past several months, Air Force leaders have consistently stated before Congress and to the media that they have a requirement for additional F-22s beyond the 187 that have already been purchased. Repeatedly, military leaders have confirmed that the decision to limit funding to 187 planes is driven by budgetary decisions, not military requirements,” said Chambliss. “It is regrettable that the administration needs to issue a veto threat for funding intended to meet a real national security requirement that has been consistently confirmed by our uniformed military leaders.”

“The federal government must tighten its belt in these tough economic times just as Americans have to do, but we must also maintain a strong national defense in order to protect our country,” Isakson said. “The F-22A is the most sophisticated fighter jet in the world with the latest stealth technology to reduce detection by radar. This plane is vital to 21st century American military superiority and provides a priceless service to our Armed Services. The administration needs to seriously consider the ramifications of vetoing legislation that authorizes funding for our military men and women and their families as well as critical military construction projects.”

Today the Senate Armed Services Committee voted the Defense Authorization bill out of committee, which includes an amendment offered by Chambliss that fully funds seven additional F-22s. The bill now goes before the full Senate for consideration.

"Regarding the Senate Armed Services Committee's authorization for seven additional F-22s, I am pleased that a majority of my colleagues chose to support my initiative to fund these aircraft. Our debate and vote took place with full awareness of the administration’s veto threat, and the result of the vote speaks for itself,” said Chambliss. "I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on the committee and with the leadership of the Air Force and the Department of Defense to ensure that our nation's military requirements are met."

“Thanks to the work of Senator Chambliss, the F-22 still has a fighting chance,” Isakson said. “I’m pleased the majority of the Senate Armed Services Committee recognizes that continued production of this aircraft is essential to both our national security as well as the many local economies and thousands of workers that would be devastated as a result of these cuts.”
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

AJC: Iran Repression Exposes Ahmadinejad's False Claims of Liberty

The American Jewish Committee condemned the brutal repression directed by the Iranian regime against millions of Iranian citizens protesting the apparent fixing of the June 12 presidential elections. The organization expressed outrage over today's killings of pro-democracy demonstrators, after a week of government-directed violence, media suppression, bans on peaceful assembly and mass arrests.

"The distressing scenes from Iran seen around the world -- despite the best efforts of the regime to censor the media -- expose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the hypocrite and the thug we've always known him to be," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

Harris recalled that Ahmadinejad had addressed the Durban Review Conference on racism organized by the United Nations in Geneva earlier this year. "That speech is principally remembered for Ahmadinejad's assault on Israel," said Harris. "But he also told those assembled that 'The Islamic Republic of Iran is a symbol of true democracy. All officials including the Leader, President, members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, city and village councils are elected through the vote of the citizens. This showcases a vibrant and dynamic society in which people widely participate in the political life.'"

"What the repression on the streets of Tehran showcases is the simple fact that today the Iranian regime, led by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and supported by President Ahmadinejad, maintains its power through terror and violence," Harris said. "The regime's blatant disregard for and abuse of human rights is appalling."

Harris added: "Recently, Roger Cohen of the New York Times told us that in Iran, 'significant margins of liberty, even democracy, exist.' Sadly, the regime's behavior demonstrates that Iran's citizens face violence and even death if they take democracy and liberty too seriously."

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Missile Defense Reviews to Focus on Current, Long-Term Challenges

North Korea and Iran pose serious nuclear and missile proliferation concerns for the United States and other nations and will be major considerations in the U.S ballistic missile defense review, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III told the Senate Armed Services Committee Monday.

"The risks and dangers from missile proliferation are growing problems," Lynn said. "The president has made clear that we will move forward with missile defenses. They're affordable, proven and responsive to the threat."

Lynn joined other defense leaders in describing the ballistic missile threat and reviews of missile defense policy and planning under way to address current as well as long-term security challenges.

The recently initiated Ballistic Missile Defense Review and other related reviews, he said, will focus on challenges posed by violent extremist movements, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, rising powers with sophisticated weapons and failed or failing threats, Lynn told the panel.

Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that the global nature of the threats and the rapid pace of technological change imposes big challenges on any deterrent strategy.

"No longer will a monolithic, mutual-assured destruction approach deter our aggressors," Cartwright said. "Our deterrent strategy will need to handle the rapid advances in technologies across a broad range of threats and conditions."

Several broad principles will guide the efforts:

• Defending the United States from rogue states and protecting U.S. forces.

This includes more effective theater missile defenses and more capabilities to warfighters provided through shorter-range and mobile missile defense systems, Lynn explained. The fiscal 2010 budget request includes an additional $900 million to field more systems such as the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships and Standard Missile-3 interceptors to defend deployed forces and allies, he said.

• Preparing for emerging threats.

This effort calls for continued investment in national missile defense systems upgrades
and research and development to pursue new and more effective technologies to confront theater missile threats, Lynn said.

• Ensuring the effectiveness of U.S. missile defenses.

Lynn emphasized the need for robust testing, while terminating the troubled kinetic energy interceptor and multiple kill vehicle programs and returning the airborne laser to a technology demonstration program.

• Using missile defense as the basis for fostering international defense cooperation.

No final decisions have been made regarding missile defense in Europe, Lynn told the panel. However, the U.S. approach to missile defense there will be to seek cooperation with international partners, including Russia, to reduce the threat from Iran.

Lynn called ballistic missile defenses an important part of current and future national strategy that must be integrated into broader deterrence and alliance considerations.

"Missile defenses play a key role in both responding to current threats and hedging against future contingencies," he told the senators. "As we move forward with missile defense plans and programs, the Department of Defense will ensure they are affordable, effective and responsive to the risks and threats that confront the United States, our friends and our allies."

Army Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O'Reilly, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said the $7.8 billion requested for missile defense in the fiscal 2010 budget will support these endeavors.

This funding, he said, will focus on three areas of improvement: current protection against theater and rogue nation threats, the United States' hedge against future threats and improving the acquisition of U.S. missile defense capability.

"Missile defense is expensive, but the cost of mission failure can also be very high," O'Reilly said, emphasizing that the system must be both affordable and effective.

"The department is proposing a balanced program to develop, rigorously test and field an integrated [ballistic missile defense system] architecture to counter existing regional threats, maintain our limited [intercontinental ballistic missile] defense, develop new technologies to address future risks and become more operationally and cost-effective as we prepare to protect against the more uncertain threats of the future," he said.

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

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Disjointed Security Threats are New Normal, Commander Says

The threats that face the United States are more amorphous today than at any time in history, and the commands responsible for defending North America must maintain vigilance, Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart said Monday.

"People believe we are getting back to something like normal after Sept. 11," the commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Command said during a morning briefing to members of the Capitol Hill Club. "I will tell you that that normal will never return."

NORAD is a joint U.S.-Canadian command charged with early warning of threats. Formed 51 years ago, the command was aimed at defending North America from aerial threats from the Soviet Union. It has morphed into a command looking at threats from the air, space, land and sea.

The threats facing the United States take on many faces: terrorists and terror groups, nation states, drug cartels, uncontrolled immigration and natural and man-made disasters.

"We have to continue to grow our capabilities to ensure that we are prepared to defend the nation, anticipate the threats we may face and then defend the nation from these kinds of actions," Renuart said.

The enemy seeks to attack the seams and gaps in American defenses, the general said. These seams are between areas – such as the boundary between U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command; agencies like those between the departments of Defense and Homeland Security; and domains such as space and maritime.

"We have to be prepared to deter those threats and we have to be prepared to defeat them if they materialize," he said.

The command also has responsibility for missile defense – a capability increasingly in the public eye as North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.

"This is a core part of our mission each day," Renuart said. "We would all agree that [the North Korean] regime is unpredictable at best. It underlines the fact that there are and will continue to be nations out there that look to develop a long-range capability that will hold other countries at risk."

Iran poses a threat not to the United States directly, but to allies in the Middle East and Europe. "They certainly have an intermediate-range capability today, their long-range ability to strike the U.S. is a few years down the road," he said.

U.S. Northern Command is tasked with missile defense. The system is very capable against the threats it was designed to counter. "It's not designed to be a shield against all [intercontinental ballistic missiles]," the general said. "It is designed to meet a threat from a rogue nation like North Korea, and potentially like Iran down the road."

The system is capable, as testing has shown. "I can say with a high-degree of confidence that it is highly effective in those scenarios," Renuart said.

It's important to not create false expectations for the system, as it is still in operational test and development, Renuart said.

"The decision to turn a portion of the system over to the operational commander tasked with defending the homeland was a good one," he said. The command will continue to work with testing officials to stretch the system.

The drug cartels have developed a distribution system to rival the world's largest retailers. Some 280-plus cities have been touched by the Sinaloa Cartel, and competition between the drug cartels is increasing, Renuart said. That is causing increased violence and kidnappings along the U.S.-Mexico border, he said.

The possibility exists for terrorists to use the same network to move people, weapons or illicit materiel to hold the United States at risk. Forty-five federal agencies are integral members of U.S. Northern Command and they help plan operations and share intelligence around the government.

The reserve components make up a large portion of the command. Renuart said the decision to increase the budget to train and equip the reserve components has paid off.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Warlord Targeted in Afghan Strike May Have Survived, Officials Say

An Afghan warlord and Taliban commander believed to have been killed in a June 9 air strike may have survived the attack, military officials reported yesterday.

Initial Afghan and coalition reports said Mullah Mustafa died in the strike, but credible reports surfaced today that Mustafa survived, U.S. Forces Afghanistan officials said.

Coalition forces had seen Mustafa moving by vehicle from his compound. When he stopped in a remote, unpopulated area in Afghanistan's Ghowr province, he was joined by a number of associates. After ensuring there were no civilians present, coalition forces used precision aerial munitions to strike the group.

Today, unsubstantiated reports of civilian casualties emerged, officials said, adding that they are working with Afghan partners to examine those reports. The officials emphasized that coalition forces took extensive measures to protect noncombatants and that a thorough review of intelligence and surveillance supports initial reports that all killed in the strikes were legitimate enemy targets.

"Mustafa is an enemy of Afghanistan, and we're working with Afghan officials to pursue him until he is captured or confirmed killed," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, a spokeswoman for U.S. Forces Afghanistan. "In addition, we are working closely with Afghan partners to investigate unconfirmed reports of civilians among Mustafa's party."

(From a U.S. Forces Afghanistan news release.)
American Forces Press Service

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

United States Transfers Two Guantanamo Detainees to Foreign Nations

/PRNewswire / -- The Department of Justice today announced that one national of Iraq and one national of Chad have been transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to their home countries.

As directed by the President's Jan. 22, 2009, Executive Order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of each of these cases. As a result of that review, these detainees were approved for transfer from Guantanamo Bay. The transfers were carried out pursuant to arrangements between the United States and the governments of Iraq and Chad.

Last night, Iraqi national Jawad Jabber Sadkhan was transferred to Iraq. Chadian national Mohammed El Gharani was transferred to Chad earlier today. On Jan. 14, 2009, a federal court ordered the U.S. government to take all necessary and appropriate steps to facilitate El Gharani's release from Guantanamo Bay.

"As our review of detainees continues, the support of the international community is critical to the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and the security of our country," said Matthew Olsen, Executive Director of the Guantanamo Review Task Force. "We are grateful for the cooperation of the Governments of Iraq and Chad and for their assistance on the successful transfer of these individuals."

Since 2002, more than 540 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries including Albania, Algeria, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Great Britain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and Yemen.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Justice Department's Brief Supporting Immunity for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 Victim's Suit Misconstrues Sovereign Immunity

Justice Department's Brief Supporting Immunity for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 Victim's Suit Misconstrues Sovereign Immunity and Jurisdictional Scope of the Anti-Terrorism Act, According to Family of 9/11 Victim and Former FBI Agent John O'Neill

/PRNewswire / -- The following is a statement from the family of John O'Neill, a retired Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigations with over 25 years of service in positions including head of the Counter-terrorism section and head of the National Security Division of the New York Field Office. Mr. O'Neill died on September 11, 2001, along with close to 3,000 other innocent individuals in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. At the time of his death, he was Director of Security at the World Trade Center and was killed assisting with the evacuation that ensured thousands made it to safety while sacrificing his own life so that others might live.

The O'Neill family stated:

Ten days ago, in a disturbing policy decision, the United States Government announced in a brief filed with the Supreme Court that it was supporting efforts by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and members of the Saudi royal family to defeat a long-running lawsuit seeking to hold them liable for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Department of Justice urged that the Court should not hear the matter, supporting the Kingdom's position that Saudi Arabia and the royal family have immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act and other common law immunities, and that the United States courts lack jurisdiction, and thus cannot be held responsible for supporting and financing terrorists and terrorist attacks directed at America. Today, our attorneys filed a brief in response requesting that the Supreme Court hold that the Government's arguments should be disregarded and the victims of 9/11 are entitled to their day in court.

John O'Neill spent his life fighting for justice on behalf of the American people. While serving his country at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he demanded that the facts about terrorism be investigated with an open and impartial eye so that all perpetrators could be brought to justice in U.S. Courts. In his service as the head of the FBI's Counter-terrorism Section, with responsibilities for the Bureau's Al Qaeda investigations, and as head of the National Security Division of the New York Field Office, he fought for the truth when he investigated the Khobar Tower bombings, the U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa, and the USS Cole bombing. During his career, John O'Neill was one of the few voices who relentlessly tried to bring attention to the true threat of Al Qaeda to this country. He was silenced on 9/11 when, literally days after retiring from the FBI, he began serving as Chief of Security for the World Trade Center and perished helping others escape from the World Trade Center. We are deeply saddened and dismayed that the government he served for more than 25 years has turned its back on justice and now seeks to deny us our day in court to pursue the truth about those who finance and support terrorism on America's soil and around the globe.

John O'Neill always felt that it was critical to display both to the American people and the world that terrorists can be brought to justice; that facts be shown to the citizens of the world; and that the American judicial system was the appropriate forum. He sought and fought for the truth where others were blinded.

The Justice Department's brief concedes that the Court of Appeals was wrong on the law, as our attorneys have alleged.

The Justice Department's brief acknowledges that there is a split in authority, which we have been informed is the basis for Supreme Court review.

The Justice Department's brief, however, propounds an erroneous construction of the sovereign immunity statute, in a feeble attempt to stop the case and protect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and it cohorts from facing the truth of their actions. That is plain wrong in any case; in this particular situation it dishonors the memory of John O'Neill and the thousands of other victims. It is simply not what we would expect our Government to do.

The entire world recognized that Al Qaeda was a terrorist organization; yet certain countries, organizations, and individuals continued to support this known terrorist threat. Normally, actions have consequences; all those who materially support terrorism should be held accountable.

We trust that the rule of law will be followed, and that the Supreme Court will accept the case for review.

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Ahmed Ghailani Transferred From Guantanamo Bay to New York for Prosecution on Terror Charges

/PRNewswire / -- The Justice Department today announced that Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian national who had been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility since September 2006, arrived early this morning in the Southern District of New York to face criminal charges stemming from his alleged role in the Aug. 7, 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya.

After a thorough review of his case by the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force, Ghailani was recently referred for criminal prosecution in the Southern District of New York pursuant to a March 12, 2001 superseding indictment against him.

Ghailani was transferred from the custody of the Department of Defense to the Southern District of New York by the U.S. Marshals Service. He is currently in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, which has housed numerous terror suspects over the years during their prosecutions in the Southern District of New York. Ghailani is expected to make his initial appearance in Manhattan federal court later today.

Ghailani faces 286 separate counts in the March 2001 superseding indictment. Among other violations, the superseding indictment charges him with conspiring with Usama bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda to kill Americans anywhere in the world, as well as separate charges of murder for the deaths of each of the 224 people killed in the U.S. Embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya and various other offenses related to the bombings.

"With his appearance in federal court today, Ahmed Ghailani is being held accountable for his alleged role in the bombing of U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and the murder of 224 people," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "The Justice Department has a long history of securely detaining and successfully prosecuting terror suspects through the criminal justice system, and we will bring that experience to bear in seeking justice in this case."

The chart below details the charges against Ghailani and the statutory maximum penalties. The public is reminded that the charges and allegations contained in the superseding indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Count(s) Description of Charge Maximum Penalties
Counts 1 - 6: Conspiracies to Murder, Bomb, and Maim

1 Conspiracy to Kill U.S. Nationals
2 Conspiracy to Murder, Kidnap, and Maim At Places Outside the
United States
3 Conspiracy to Murder
4 Conspiracy to Use Weapons of Mass Destruction Against U.S.
Death or life
5 Conspiracy to Destroy Buildings and Property of the United States
Life (mandatory minimum of 20 years)
6 Conspiracy to Attack National Defense Utilities
10 years

Counts 7 - 286: The Africa Bombings

7 Bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya
Death or life (mandatory minimum of 20 years)
8 Bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Death or life (mandatory minimum of 20 years)
9 Use and Attempted Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction Against U.S.
Nationals in Nairobi, Kenya
Death or life
10 Use and Attempted Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction Against U.S.
Nationals in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Death or life
11-223 Murders in Nairobi, Kenya
Death or mandatory life
224-234 Murders in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Death or mandatory life
235-275 Murder of U.S. Employees in Nairobi, Kenya
Death or mandatory life
276 Attempted Murder of U.S. Employees in Nairobi, Kenya
20 years
277-278 Murder of U.S. Employees in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Death or mandatory life
279 Attempted Murder of U.S. Employees in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
20 years
280-281 Murder of Internationally Protected Persons in Nairobi, Kenya
Death or mandatory life
282 Attempted Murder of Internationally Protected Persons in Nairobi,
20 years
283 Attempted Murder of Internationally Protected Persons in Dar es
Salaam, Tanzania
20 years
284 Using and Carrying An Explosive During the Commission of A Felony
10 years consecutive
285 Using and Carrying A Dangerous Device During the Bombing Of the
U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya
30 years consecutive
286 Using and Carrying A Dangerous Device During the Bombing Of the
U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Life or 30 years consecutive

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Obama Administration Enables Saudi Princes to Escape Accountability for Material Support for 9/11 Terror Attacks, Families Charge

/PRNewswire / -- On the day that President Obama holds his first summit with Saudi Arabian King Abdullah in Riyadh, the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism charged that recent actions by his administration would enable five of the king's closest relatives to escape accountability for their role in financing and materially supporting the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In response to the administration's action, the 9/11 families released allegations made in 2002 of the Saudi royal family's sponsorship and support of al Qaeda that the families believe have been ignored by the Obama Administration.

On May 29, the president's top lawyer before the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, filed a brief arguing that it would be "unwarranted" for the Supreme Court to even hear cases brought by the 9/11 families charging that five Saudi princes knowingly and intentionally provided financial support to al Qaeda waging war on America. By urging the high court to not review lower court decisions dismissing these cases, the Obama Administration took the side of the Saudi princes over thousands of family members and survivors of the 9/11 attacks seeking justice and accountability in U.S. courts.

"This is a betrayal of our fundamentally American right to have our day in court," said Mike Low of Batesville, Ark., father of Sara Low, an American Airlines flight attendant who died on board Flight 11. "It sacrifices the principles of justice, transparency, accountability and security, which our case embodies, in order to accommodate the political pleadings of a foreign government on behalf of a handful of members of its monarchy."

"With this filing, the Obama Administration has constructed a convoluted legal rationale to justify a political decision to curry favor with the Saudi royal family," said Ron Motley, counsel for the 9/11 families. "However, the legal straw house they built collapses with the faintest breeze of logic, legal analysis, or common sense."

"We trust that the Supreme Court, after it has reviewed the law, the facts and the evidence, will reject the Obama Administration's wrongheaded opinion and agree to give the 9/11 family members the day in court they deserve," Motley said.

To illustrate both the injustice of the Obama Administration's Supreme Court filing and the many holes in its legal reasoning, the family members released the specific allegations they originally made on what the princes did to provide financial and material support to Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and the Taliban in the years and months leading up to September 11, 2001.

Specifically, the families' lawsuit alleges that:

-- Prince Turki al Faisal al Saud, past head of Saudi intelligence,
coordinated Saudi financial and logistical support for al Qaeda, Osama
bin Laden and the Taliban. In July 1998, Prince Turki brokered an
agreement between these parties in which the Saudis provided al Qaeda
and the Taliban with generous financial assistance in exchange for a
pledge by bin Laden and the Taliban that al Qaeda would not attack the
Saudi royal family.(1)
-- Prince Mohamed al Faisal al Saud headed the Islamic bank Dar al Maal
al Islami, which provided global financial services and financing to
al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.(2)
-- Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz al Saud, whose responsibilities included
overseeing Islamic charitable funding in Saudi Arabia, funded al Qaeda
through personal contributions to Islamic charities known to support
bin Laden and his terrorist organization.(3)
-- Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz al Saud, who has long supported Palestinian
suicide bombers, provided pay-off money to al Qaeda. His oversight of
al Qaeda front charity al Haramain allowed it to support bin Laden and
al Qaeda unabated.(4)

-- Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud has a long history of funding
Islamic extremists through his work as chairman of the General
Donation Committee for Afghanistan. In this capacity, Prince Salman
made substantial personal contributions to al Qaeda front charities
with the full knowledge the charities were misappropriating funds and
involved in terrorist activities.(5)

(More detailed allegations are contained in the attached chart.)

In the face of these allegations, Motley charged that the legal flaws in the Obama Administration's filing are all the more egregious.

For example, the solicitor general concedes that the Saudi princes as individual officials are not entitled to immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). But even though the government has never previously expressed any notion of offering the Saudi princes any immunity for their alleged terrorist involvement, the administration urges that the Supreme Court should nonetheless treat the Princes as though they are immune anyway because of vague "non-statutory principles articulated by the Executive." This makes clear the Obama Administration is more concerned with the foreign relations consequences of making the Saudi princes answer for their donations to al Qaeda than with allowing the 9/11 families their fair day in court to address the princes' accountability for their conduct.

Moreover, even if the Saudi princes knowingly and intentionally gave money to al Qaeda waging war on America, the solicitor general argued that does not qualify for the "domestic tort exception" to sovereign immunity because the Saudi Princes did not give their money "within the United States." The solicitor general says it is not enough if the Saudis gave money to al Qaeda only from abroad. According to the solicitor general's argument, in order to strip immunity from the Saudi princes, "the foreign state's act or omission -- not that of any third party -- must occur in the United States."

The solicitor general further argues that U.S. courts cannot exercise personal jurisdiction over the Saudi Princes who gave money to al Qaeda because they were not "primary wrongdoer[s]" -- according to the solicitor general -- as they engaged in only "indirect funding of al Qaeda." But excusing the princes as not "primary wrongdoers" is in direct conflict with a recent Seventh Circuit ruling in the terror litigation context.(6) In this case, known as Boim v. Holy Land Foundation, the Seventh Circuit held that all those who donate money to known terrorist groups are themselves engaging in terrorism -- and thus "primary violators" subject to "primary liability" under the Anti-Terrorism Act section 2333. Boim further cautioned: "Nor should donors to terrorism be able to escape liability because terrorists and their supporters launder donations through a chain of intermediate organizations. Donor A gives to innocent-appearing organization B which gives to innocent-appearing organization C which gives to Hamas. As long as A either knows or is reckless in failing to discover that donations to B end up with Hamas, A is liable."(7)

The administration filing's bottom line, according to Motley, is that an official of any foreign country not "designated as a state sponsor of terrorism" is immune from suit as long as that official gave money "outside the United States" to terrorists -- even where those terrorists are waging a declared war causing massive death and destruction inside the United States. "This is an absurd misinterpretation of the law that, if carried to its logical extreme, could let all of al Qaeda's bankrollers off the hook," Motley charged. "If allowed to stand as the Obama administration's brief urges, the lower court's decision would allow terrorist financiers to stand at the borders of our nation providing all means of terrorist support, while snubbing their noses at our time honored judicial system of accountability."

The plaintiffs further allege that "Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have publicly and proudly proclaimed direct responsibility for [prior] multiple atrocities in furtherance of international terrorism. Direct attacks on Americans intensified in 1998 after Osama bin Laden issued this 'fatwa,' stating: 'We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it.'"(8)

Motley said he was especially shocked that the solicitor general justified not holding foreign officials who give money to the 9/11 terrorists to account in an American court by repeating the same error made by the late District Judge Richard Conway Casey and the Second Circuit when they ruled plaintiffs' well-pleaded allegations were "inadequa[te]" and "conclusory" to show the Princes knew that they were funneling money to al Qaeda. "This is utter nonsense," Motley said, noting the specific detail of the allegations made, all of which allegedly show that the princes gave money to al Qaeda waging declared jihad on America, knowing that al Qaeda was targeting death and destruction on America.(9)

"What the solicitor general and the lower courts ignore is that the plaintiffs brought this suit to hold the defendants -- a handful of royals, other financiers, bin Laden, al Qaeda, and certain charities, banks and other organizations they own and control -- responsible for this insidious form of terrorism which cloaks itself behind the face of royal state titles and legitimacy," Motley said.

Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network do not exist in a vacuum, he explained. They could not plan, train and act on such a massive scale without significant financial power, coordination and backing.(10)

Select sources reporting Saudi Arabia is an important funding source for Islamic Extremism:

-- United States Congress Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and
United States Congress House Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities
before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001: Report
of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and U.S. House
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Together with Additional
-- Terrorist Financing. Report of an Independent Task Force Sponsored by
the Council on Foreign Relations, October 2002. Available at and Update on the Global
Campaign Against Terrorist Financing. Second Report of an Independent
Task Force on Terrorist Financing Sponsored by the Council on Foreign
Relations, June 15, 2004. See
-- Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia of
the Committee on International Relations House of Representatives One
Hundred Eighth Congress Second Session March 24, 2004 Serial No.
-- International Affairs: Information on U.S. Agencies' Efforts to
Address Islamic Extremism, GAO-05-852 (Washington: D.C.: United States
Government Accountability Office, Sept. 2005).
-- Iraq Study Group (U.S.), et al. The Iraq Study Group Report. 1st
authorized ed. New York: Vintage Books, 2006.
-- Testimony of Lee S. Wolosky Partner, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs September
18, 2007.
-- U.S. State Department 2007 International Narcotics Control Strategy
-- Testimony of U.S. Department of the Treasury Undersecretary for
Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart A. Levey before the Senate
Finance Committee, April 1, 2008.

-- H. R. 1288 Saudi Arabia Accountability Act of 2009 111th Congress 1st

Allegations that the Saudi Princes Named as Defendants
Provided Financial and Material Support to al Qaeda

Source: Third Amended Complaint, Thomas E. Burnett, Sr., et al. vs. Al
Baraka Investment & Development Corporation, et al., Case No. 03-CV-9849
(GBD) as consolidated in In Re: Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001,
Case No. 03-MDL-1570 (GBD), paragraphs 340, 344-346, 348-350.
This can be viewed at

TAC Paragraph, Specific Allegation
97-99, pp. Prince Mohamed al Faisal al Saud was the CEO of the
244-245; 342, Islamic bank Dar al Maal al Islami ("DMI") which
p. 309; 364, provided financing and financial services to al Qaeda
p. 315

340, p. 309 Prince Turki al Faisal al Saud had an ongoing
relationship with Osama bin Laden from the time that
they first met in Islamabad, Pakistan at the Saudi
embassy, during the Soviet Union's occupation of

342, p. 309-310 Prince Abdullah al Faisal bin Abdulaziz al Saud,
Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz al Saud and Prince Salman
bin Abdul Aziz al Saud

have provided material support to Osama bin Laden and
al Qaeda. They also aided, abetted and materially
sponsored OBL and al Qaeda

344, p. 310 Prince Turki, who headed the Royal Families
intelligence service for 25 years and met personally
with Osama bin Laden at least 5 times, guided the
Saudi intelligence service to provide substantial
financial and material support to the Taliban in or
about 1995.

345, p. 310 Al Qaeda financier Mohammed Zouaydi had close
financial ties to Prince Turki and Prince Mohammed al

346, pp. 310-311 According to a senior Taliban official, Prince Turki
was the facilitator of money transfers to the Taliban
and al Qaeda.

347. p. 311 In 1996, a group of Saudi princes met with prominent
Saudi businessmen in Paris and agreed to continue
financially contributing and otherwise supporting
Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.

348, p. 311 In July of 1998, a meeting occurred in Kandahar,
Afghanistan that led to an agreement between certain
Saudis and the Taliban. The participants were Prince
Turki, the Taliban leaders, and senior Pakistani
intelligence officers of the ISI and representatives
of Osama bin Laden. The agreement reached stipulated
that Osama bin Laden and his followers would not use
the infrastructure in Afghanistan to subvert the
royal families' control of Saudi government. In
return, the Saudis would make sure that no demands
for the extradition of terrorist individuals, such as
Osama bin Laden, and/or for the closure of terrorist
facilities and camps. Prince Turki also promised to
provide oil and generous financial assistance to both
the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. After the
meeting, 400 new pick-up trucks arrived in Kandahar
for the Taliban, still bearing Dubai license plates.

349, p. 311 Prince Turki was instrumental in arranging a meeting
in Kandahar between Iraqi senior intelligence
operative, the Ambassador to Turkey Faruq al-Hijazi,
and Osama bin Laden, in December of 1998.

350, p. 311 Saudi Intelligence, directed by Prince Turki until
August 2001, served as a facilitator of Osama bin
Laden's network of charities, foundations, and other
funding sources.

354, p. 312 Prince Sultan has been involved in the sponsorship of
international terrorism through the IIRO and other
Saudi-funded charities.

357-358. p. 313 King Fahd set up a Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs,
headed by his brother Prince Sultan to centralize,
supervise and review aid requests from Islamic
groups. This council was established to control the
charity financing and look into ways of distributing
donations to eligible Muslim groups. Consequently, as
Chairman of the Supreme Council, Prince Sultan could
not have ignored the ultimate destinations of
charitable funding, and could not have overlooked the
role of the Saudi charitable entities identified
herein in financing the al Qaeda terrorist

359, pp. 313-314 Despite that responsibility and knowledge, Prince
Sultan personally funded several Islamic charities
over the years that sponsor, aid, abet or materially
support Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda: the
International Islamic Relief Organization (and its
financial fund Sanabel el-Khair), al-Haramain, Muslim
World League, and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.
Despite that responsibility and knowledge, Prince
Sultan personally funded several Islamic charities
over the years that sponsor, aid, abet or materially
support Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda: the
International Islamic Relief Organization (and its
financial fund Sanabel el-Khair), al-Haramain, Muslim
World League, and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.

360, p. 314 Prince Sultan's role in the IIRO's financing is of
significance. Since the IIRO's creation in 1978,
Prince Sultan participated by donations and various
gifts to the charity. In 1994 alone, he donated
$266,652 to the Islamic International Relief
Organization. Since 1994, the amount funneled by
Prince Sultan into IIRO is reported to be $2,399,868.
Prince Sultan's role in directly contributing to and
in the oversight of IIRO evidences his material
sponsorship, aiding and abetting of international
terrorism. Prince Sultan maintains close relations
with the IIRO organization headquarters and knew or
should have known these assets were being diverted to
al Qaeda.

361-362, p. 314 Prince Sultan is also a regular donator to the World
Assembly of Muslim Youth ( "WAMY"). WAMY was founded
in 1972 in a Saudi effort to prevent the "corrupting"
ideas of the western world influencing young Muslims.
With official backing it grew to embrace 450 youth
and student organizations with 34 offices worldwide.
WAMY has been officially identified as a "suspected
terrorist organization" by the FBI since 1996 and has
been the subject of numerous governmental
investigations for terrorist activities.

370-371, p. 317; Prince Abdullah al Faisal is the majority owner of
372-373, p. 317 Alfaisaliah Group, also known as al Faisal Group
Holding Co. According to FBI records 9/11 hijacker
Hani Saleh H. Hanjour, his brother Abdulrahman Saleh
Hanjour, living in Tucson, Arizona, and 9/11 suspect
Abdal Monem Zelitny had registered addresses in Taif,
Saudi Arabia that correspond with an Alfaisaliah
Group branch office.

374-375, p. 317 Prince Abdullah al Faisal's accountant in Jeddah,
Saudi Arabia was Defendant Muhammed Galeb Kalaje
Zouaydi, convicted in Spain for financing al Qaeda
operations in Europe. Zouaydi set up Spanish
companies established during the time he was staying
in Saudi Arabia and working for Prince Abdullah al
Faisal, between 1996 and 2000. Zouaydi laundered
Saudi money through Spain to an al Qaeda cell in
Germany. Eye witnesses place Zouaydi in Prince
Abdullah al Faisal's office in Jeddah.

381, p. 319 Prince Naif, who has a long history of supported for
Palestinian suicide martyrs and Palestinian terrorist
organizations, has provided material support to al
Qaeda, including providing monetary payoffs to al

382, p. 319 Prince Naif, who is the Saudi Minister of Interior and
heads the Saudi Committee for Relief to Afghans,
supervised the activities of Defendant charity Al
Haramain Foundation, which materially supported al
Qaeda and the Taliban.

392-399, pp. In 1993, Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud founded
321-323 Saudi High Commission charity. The charity's Bosnian
offices were found to have sponsored al Qaeda members
and materially supported al Qaeda.

400, pp. 323-324 Prince Salman has a history of funding Islamic
extremism. In 1980, Prince Salman was named Chairman
of the General Donation Committee for Afghanistan.

401, p. 324 In 1999, Prince Salman made a donation of $400,000
during a fund-raising event organized for Bosnia
Herzegovina and Chechnya by Defendants International
Islamic Relief Organization, World Assembly of Muslim
Youths, and Al-Haramain Foundation.

404-407, Despite evidence of misappropriation of charitable
pp.324-325 funds by directors of the Saudi High Commissions
Bosnian chapter, Prince Salman knowingly failed to
take appropriate action regarding the management and
distribution of funds.

(1)Third Amended Complaint, Thomas E. Burnett, Sr., et al. vs. Al Baraka Investment & Development Corporation, et al., Case No. 03-CV-9849 (GBD) as consolidated in In Re: Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, Case No. 03-MDL-1570 (GBD), paragraphs 340, 344-346, 348-350. This can be viewed at

(2)TAC paragraphs 97-99, 242, 244-245, 364.
(3)TAC paragraphs 354, 357-362.
(4)TAC paragraphs 342, 381-382.
(5)TAC paragraphs 392-401, 404-407.
(6)See Boim v. Holy Land Found., 549 F.3d 685 (7th Cir. 2008) (en banc).
(7)Id. at 701-702.
(8)TAC, p. 12.

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