Tags: Al-Qaida | Zacarias Moussaoui | 911 | saudi arabia | bin laden | al-qaida

9/11 Terror Convict: Saudis Financed al-Qaida Before Attacks

By    |   Wednesday, 04 February 2015 07:14 AM

Saudi Arabia's royal family helped finance al-Qaida operations in the period leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the United States, according to a disposition made by an al-Qaida terrorist now serving a life sentence in federal prison, The New York Times reported.

Sometimes referred to as the "20th hijacker," Zacarias Moussaoui entered the U.S. on his French passport. He took flying lessons presumably in preparation for the attacks but was arrested Aug. 16, 2001, by the FBI on immigration charges.

He did not explicitly assert that the Saudis financed the 9/11 attacks.

Moussaoui did testify that he had talked to an official of the Islamic Affairs Department at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., about shooting down Air Force One. The conversation allegedly took place in Afghanistan.

"I was supposed to go to Washington and go with him" to "find a location where it may be suitable to launch a Stinger attack and then, after, be able to escape," the Times reported.

He said that he had created a database of Saudi princes financing Osama bin Laden. The list included Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, who was for many years the Saudi ambassador to the United States and close to the Bush family. Others donors included then-Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal and Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, the 34th richest man in the world, according to Forbes.

"Sheikh Osama wanted to keep a record who give money," Moussaoui said, "who is to be listened to or who contributed to the jihad."

Among the attacks carried out by al-Qaida before 9/11 were the bombing of the Kohbar Towers U.S. military-housing complex in Saudi Arabia in 1996, the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998, and the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole.

In response to the deposition, the Saudi Embassy said that the 9/11 commission had absolved Riyadh of any role in the attacks. "Moussaoui is a deranged criminal whose own lawyers presented evidence that he was mentally incompetent," an embassy statement said.

During Moussaoui's 2006 trial, his defense offered testimony from a psychologist asserting that he was mentally ill. The presiding judge dismissed any notion that the defendant was not competent to stand trial, the Times reported.

Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who had been co-chairman of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the attacks, said in an affidavit, "I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia."

He has called for the classified portions of the inquiry dealing with Saudi involvement to be made public, the Times reported.

Bob Kerrey, the former Nebraska senator who served on the 9/11 Commission submitted a separate affidavit asserting that it was "fundamentally inaccurate and misleading" to claim that the 9/11 Commission exonerated the Saudi government, the Times reported.

The depositions are part of an ongoing lawsuit against Saudi Arabia filed by relatives of those killed in the attacks.

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Saudi Arabia's royal family helped finance al-Qaida operations in the period leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the United States, according to a disposition made by an al-Qaida terrorist now serving a life sentence in federal prison, The New York Times reported.
Zacarias Moussaoui, 911, saudi arabia, bin laden, al-qaida
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2015-14-04
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 07:14 AM
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