US judge rules 9/11 suits against Saudi can proceed

Protesters and family members of 9/11 victims protest in front of the White House regarding President Barack Obama’s threatened veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) in Washington, US, September 20, 2016. — Reuters pic
Protesters and family members of 9/11 victims protest in front of the White House regarding President Barack Obama’s threatened veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) in Washington, US, September 20, 2016. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, March 29 — A US federal judge yesterday rejected Saudi Arabia’s bid to drop lawsuits alleging it helped orchestrate the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Manhattan-based Judge George Daniels said in his ruling the plaintiffs “narrowly articulate a reasonable basis” to proceed.

These relatives of 9/11 victims say Saudi Arabia provided support to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

In late September 2016 US Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), allowing survivors and relatives of victims of “terrorism” to sue foreign governments.

Fifteen of the 19 perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks — which left nearly 3,000 people dead — were Saudis.

The US ally has persistently denied involvement. — AFP