Tags: Al-Qaida | ISIS/Islamic State | Pentagon | Saudi Arabia | Bill | Jeopardize | Fight

Pentagon: Suing the Saudis Will Jeopardize Fight Against ISIS, al-Qaida

Image: Pentagon: Suing the Saudis Will Jeopardize Fight Against ISIS, al-Qaida
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By    |   Wednesday, 20 Apr 2016 11:19 AM

Pentagon and national security officials reportedly believe a bill that could hold the government of Saudi Arabia legally responsible for the 9/11 attacks would jeopardize the fight against al-Qaida and ISIS.

"We don't need this debate right now," an unnamed defense official tells The Daily Beast.

According to the Daily Beast, two unnamed former officials say the bill is a politically charged distraction at a "key point" in the anti-ISIS fight, while an unnamed current official claims any lawsuits against Saudi officials puts the blame in the wrong place.

"As far as I am concerned, Osama bin Laden attacked the United States," the official tells the Daily Beast.

Pentagon and security officials argue Saudi Arabia is one of the best U.S. partners in the region, having arrested more than 1,000 suspected jihadists in two years, and best able to spot potential terror attacks, the Daily Beast reports.

The news outlet notes Riyadh has already threatened to sell American assets if the bill becomes law, but it also could punish Washington by withholding military and intelligence assistance in the anti-ISIS fight — and by stopping the purchase of U.S.-made weapons.

"Saudi Arabia is one of the top arms purchasers in the world, with the U.S. being a major supplier," Lori Plotkin Boghardt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy tells the Daily Beast.

"One area where they could respond would be to direct weapons purchases to companies of what they consider less complicated countries."

The Daily Beast reports any lawsuit spawned by the legislation would have to meet exacting standards, and Peter Margulies, a professor at the Roger Williams University School of Law, cautions "it's not going to be open season on the Saudis."

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Pentagon and national security officials reportedly believe a bill that could hold the government of Saudi Arabia legally responsible for the 9/11 attacks would jeopardize the fight against al-Qaida and ISIS.
Pentagon, Saudi Arabia, Bill, Jeopardize, Fight, ISIS, al-Qaida
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2016-19-20
Wednesday, 20 Apr 2016 11:19 AM
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