August 15, 2002

LAWYERS, GUNS AND MONEY:

Relatives of victims of the 11 September attacks have filed a trillion dollar lawsuit against various parties accusing them of financing Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terror network and Afghanistan’s former Taleban regime. . . .

Those accused include the country of Sudan, three members of the Saudi royal family – including the Saudi foreign minister – and various Islamic charities, in addition to seven financial institutions and the Bin Laden family’s Saudi construction firm.

More than 600 family members, firefighters and rescue workers, calling themselves the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism, are seeking the money “to force the sponsors of terror into the light and subject them to the rule of law”, according to the suit. . . .

Lawyer Allan Gerson, who also worked on a lawsuit for families of victims of the 1988 Pan Am airline Lockerbie bombing, said that the suit was aimed at uncovering the complicated financial transactions which funded the 11 September attacks.

“We’re trying to expose the extent, the depth, the orchestration, the financial support that terrorist organisations have received for perhaps a decade from various Saudi interests.”

Mao used the term “paper tiger” to refer to things that need not be feared. But Mao never got hit with a discovery request. And the Saudis are the ultimate “deep pocket” defendants.

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