US- Saudi Arabia: Senate Passes Bill on 9/11 Attacks

By Kainoelani LeeRabat – The US Senate passed unanimously a bill, Tuesday, that would allow the families of those killed in the September 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any roles played in the terrorist attacks, according to the New York Times.The passing of the bill seems to be another sign of the increasing tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States. The Saudi government has warned that if the legislation passes, they would sell off up to $750 billion worth of assets in the United States.  Economists have commented that a sell-off would “do more harm” to Saudi’s economy than to America’s.In the past, families who have suffered from the September 11 attacks have tried to hold members of the Saudi royal family and charities liable claiming financial support of terrorism, but a 1976 law granting foreign nations a certain amount of immunity from lawsuits in American courts has led many of these families to dead ends.Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, a Democrat and a sponsor of the bill, believes that passing the bill will help the families of the victims to seek justice. He also states that if Saudi Arabia did not participate in this terrorism plot, they have nothing to fear about going to court.Saudi leaders have denied any responsibility for the September 11 attacks, according to the Business Standard.A document recently posted by the National Archives, which includes a series of memos written by September 11 commission staff members found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” Al Qaeda or the 9/11 plotters.The bill will go through the White House for further action. read more