A petition urging Congress to pass new terror financing legislation is being circulated by a group of 9/11 victims' families and survivors of the attacks.
Three New York lawmakers plan to introduce the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act when Congress returns after Labor Day. The bill would allow American victims to sue foreign people and entities for financing terrorist attacks. Courts have blocked such claims against Saudis alleged to have aided the 9/11 plot.
It has a bi-partisan group of co-sponsors, including Democrat Charles Schumer in the Senate, Republican House member Peter King and Democrat Jerrold Nadler, all from New York.
While Americans widely support law enforcement actions to prevent terror attacks and curb terror financing, this is at least the third time the bill is being offered.
"No individual or country should be shielded from being held accountable for their role in the most heinous act of terrorism to ever occur in the United States," Schumer said in announcing a similar 2011 effort. "This bill will send a clear message to Saudi Arabia and other sponsors of terror: if you attack the United States, you will be held accountable. It will also allow the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks to receive some justice for the losses they experienced on that fateful day."
The petition drive by 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism aims to show Congress a broad base of support for the bill.
"Never in our history has it been more important for us to end the flow of money to terrorists whose dangerous ideology led to the attacks of 9/11 and the murder of almost 3,000 innocent souls," the petition says. "We know al-Qaida and other terrorist networks are still active and receiving funding as demonstrated by the recent closing of U.S. Embassies across the Middle East in the wake of terror threats and reportedly three al-Qaida-assisted prison breaks in Iraq, Pakistan, and Libya that freed over 1,500 dangerous prisoners. We need this bill and urgently need your help."
to sign the petition.
Steven Emerson is executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Emerson was a correspondent for CNN and a senior editor at U.S. News and World Report. Read more reports from Steve Emerson — Click Here Now.
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