New York: In a sensational claim, al Qaeda plotter Zacarias Moussaoui has said that top Saudi officials including members of the royal family helped fund the terror group that carried out 9/11 attacks.
Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen, also dubbed as the "20th hijacker", made the claim in his testimony in October to the lawyers representing 9/11 victims, who have filed a lawsuit against Saudi.
Saudi Arabia has been trying to get the lawsuit dropped, however the lawyers for the victims claim that they have new evidence that Saudi agents "directly and knowingly" helped the hijackers.
The Saudi embassy has however rejected Moussaoui's claims and called him a "deranged criminal" with no credibility.
Statement: Saudi embassy dismisses Moussaoui's allegations http://t.co/2qmdflvF2y
— Saudi Embassy (@SaudiEmbassyUSA) February 4, 2015
In his testimony, Moussaoui said he created a database of Al Qaeda donors, including members of the royal family, such as former intelligence chief Prince Turki al Faisal and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was Saudi ambassador to the United States for 22 years until 2005.
As per the BBC, Moussaoui alleged that "extremely famous" Saudi officials, including Prince Turki al-Faisal Al Saud, a former Saudi intelligence chief, were donating millions of dollars to al Qaeda from the late 1990s.
Moussaoui also claimed that he had been part of a plot to blast a Boeing 747 into the White House.
He also claimed that he was to travel to the US with a top Saudi official to find a location "suitable to launch a stinger [missile] attack" on Air Force One, the report added.
Moussaoui was arrested on immigration charges in August 2001 after employees of a Minnesota flight school became alarmed he wanted to learn to fly a Boeing 747 with no pilot's license. He was in custody on Sept. 11 and pleaded guilty in April 2005 to conspiring with the hijackers to kill Americans.
A psychologist testified for the defense at death penalty proceedings that he had paranoid schizophrenia. Jurors spared his life.