New York: Relatives of people killed in the
September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States welcomed moves by two former senators to link Saudi Arabia to the
events as part of a huge lawsuit.
Ex-Florida senator Bob Graham and former Nebraska senator
Bob Kerrey said in sworn affidavits to a New York court they
were certain of the links between the Saudi government and the
"I am convinced that there was a direct line between at
least some of the terrorists who carried out the September
11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia," said Graham.
Graham led a joint 2002 congressional inquiry into the
attacks in which Al-Qaeda militants hijacked four planes and
crashed them into the World Trade Centre in New York, the
Pentagon in Washington and a Pennsylvania field. Almost 3,000
people were killed in the worst ever attack on American soil.
Kerrey, who served on a separate 9/11 enquiry, said in
his own sworn statement last week that "significant questions
remain unanswered about the role of Saudi institutions."
"Evidence relating to the plausible involvement of
possible Saudi government agents in the September 11th attacks
has never been fully pursued."
Families of the victims said today they welcomed the
comments "strongly disagreeing with papers filed by the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi High Commission claiming
that they had been `exonerated` of any connection to the 9/11
Saudi Arabia, now a key regional US ally in the fight
against terrorism, has said the 9/11 commission`s final report
"found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution
of senior Saudi individuals funded" Al-Qaeda, the New York
But in a statement yesterday the group, the 9/11 Families
United to Bankrupt Terrorism, "applauded" the statements by
Graham and Kerrey which are part of a multi-billion dollar
lawsuit before the court.
"The financiers and enablers of those who murdered our
loved ones are still alive, well and capable of supporting
terrorism. The trail back to them still points to Saudi
Arabia," said Beverly Burnett.
Her son, Thomas Burnett, was killed when the passengers
fought back against the hijackers, and their flight plowed
into a Pennsylvania field.
"The families and survivors of the atrocities of 9/11
have not given up hope for justice. We are determined to
expose the truth," she added.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, and
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was also a Saudi citizen.
After years on the run, he was finally tracked down to a
compound in Pakistan and killed in a US commando raid in May.