Convicted 9/11 Plotter Claims Members of Saudi Royal Family Helped Finance Attacks…He’s not Alone
Zacarias Moussaoui, who’s serving a life sentence in the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, after being convicted of involvement in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, says in depositions that Al-Qaeda got help from Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, the longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States and friend of the Bush family. The depositions were part of the long-standing case in which survivors of the 9/11 attacks are suing Saudi Arabia and its royal family for providing material support for the attacks. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia.
Insurance company Lloyd’s of London paid more than $215 million in claims by families of those killed in the attacks and has also sued members of the Saudi royal family for reimbursement for the payouts.
Moussaoui said in October that he was tasked in the late 1990s with developing a database of donors to Al-Qaeda and that Bandar, who served in Washington until 2005, was among those listed. “Sheikh Osama wanted to keep a record who give money,” Moussaoui said, “who is to be listened to or who contributed to the jihad.” Moussaoui also said he and a Saudi embassy official discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One using a hand-held Stinger missile.
The Saudis deny the accusations, saying in a statement, “Moussaoui is a deranged criminal whose own lawyers presented evidence that he was mentally incompetent. His words have no credibility.”
Moussaoui’s claims could be refuted—or verified—if a 28-page section of the 9/11 Commission report that has been kept secret was released, but neither President George W. Bush, under whose watch the attacks took place and the commission did its work, nor President Barack Obama, has done so. The section is called “Part 4: Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain National Security Matters.”
Former Senator Bob Graham (D-Florida), who has seen the section, has repeatedly called for its release, stating, “The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier.”
The publicly released part of the report seemed to exonerate the Saudi government, but left some tantalizing questions about where Al-Qaeda’s funding came from. “Saudi Arabia has long been considered the primary source of Al-Qaeda funding, but we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization,” the report said. The commission report did find a “likelihood that charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to Al-Qaeda.”
So far, the U.S. government has not accounted for the source of approximately half-million dollars the 9/11 attacks cost, according to Phil Hirschkorn of Salon.
-Steve Straehley, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Pre-9/11 Ties Haunt Saudis as New Accusations Surface (by Ben Hubbard and Scott Shane, New York Times)
Claims against Saudis Cast New Light on Secret Pages of 9/11 Report (by Carl Hulse, New York Times)
9/11′s Funding Mystery Solved? Why Moussaoui Is Suddenly Offering New Info (by Phil Hirschkorn, Salon)
Saudi Arabia’s New King, Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud Has Been Target of Lawsuits by Survivors of 9/11 Attacks (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Why is Obama Still Hiding the 28-Page Report on Saudi Royal Family Involvement in the 9/11 Attacks? (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley, AllGov)
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