A 9/11 lawsuit against Saudi Arabia is now alleging its government might have funded a "dry run" for the terrorist attack on America, according to the New York Post.
Lawyers for 1,400 victims of the terror strikes claim in an amended filing there is "a pattern of both financial and operational support" for the 9/11 conspiracy from official Saudi sources — including testing cockpit security, Post columnist Paul Sperry reported on the 16th anniversary of the attacks.
The new evidence alleges that two years before the attacks, the Saudi Embassy paid for two nationals to fly from Phoenix to Washington "in a dry run for the 9/11 attacks," Sperry reported.
"We've long asserted that there were longstanding and close relationships between al-Qaida and the religious components of the Saudi government," Sean Carter, lead attorney for the 9/11 plaintiffs, told Sperry. "This is further evidence of that."
Citing FBI documents, the complaint alleges Saudi students Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi were members of "the Kingdom's network of agents in the [United States]" and participated in the terrorist conspiracy, Sperry reported.
According to the complaint, during a November 1999 America West flight to Washington, Qudhaeein and Shalawi reportedly tried multiple times to gain access to the cockpit of the plane in an attempt to test flight-deck security in advance of the hijackings, Sperry reported.
"After they boarded the plane in Phoenix, they began asking the flight attendants technical questions about the flight that the flight attendants found suspicious," according to a summary of the FBI case files, Sperry reported.
"When the plane was in flight, al-Qudhaeein asked where the bathroom was; one of the flight attendants pointed him to the back of the plane," the case files added. "Nevertheless, al-Qudhaeein went to the front of the plane and attempted on two occasions to enter the cockpit."
The suspicious pilots made an emergency landing in Ohio. The pair were detained and questioned by the FBI, but the agency declined to pursue prosecution, Sperry reported. But after the FBI discovered a suspect in a counterterrorism investigation in Phoenix was driving Shalawi's car, the agency opened a case, Sperry reported.
The FBI confirmed Qudhaeein's and Shalawi's airline tickets for the pre-9/11 dry run were paid for by the Saudi Embassy, Sperry reported.
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