‘Saudis are probably afraid or trying to ignore us’ – 9/11 survivor William Rodriguez

The World Trade Center burns after being hit by a plane in New York, September 11, 2001. © Sara K. Schwittek
9/11 survivor William Rodriguez says he’s not planning to sue the Saudi government for its alleged involvement in the attack. But those responsible whoever they are should pay the price, he added.

The US Senate has approved a bill allowing the families of 9/11 victims to file law suits against Saudi Arabia over the country's alleged role in the terror attacks and its involvement in supporting the attackers.

President Obama has vowed to veto the bill citing security reasons.

William Rodriguez is a 9/11 survivor, and argues these reasons are not enough to stop the bill.  

“I lost 200 friends on 9/11. So, I know personally how the families of victims and survivors feel about the government’s position about this,” he told RT.

“They [said] the Saudi government was threatening us with dumping assets. It was one of the issues we had at the very beginning. That was a concern for the government,” he said. However, that concern was dispelled by “economists from all over the world” who claimed the Saudi economy would be hurt more than the American one in such a case. That, according to Rodriguez, made it possible for the bill to be passed in the Senate.    
In Rodriguez’s view, the 9/11 Commission Report left many questions unanswered.

“The problem from the very beginning was that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. So, we had an issue that this information was not followed through from the very beginning to basically get to the people that were behind, were sponsoring and giving funds to the organizations that actually made possible this attack on 9/11.  And remember it is not only America. 9/11 affected people from 92 different countries, he said.

Asked what reaction he expects from the Saudis over the bill, Rodriguez said that he repeatedly attempted to organize a meeting with the representatives of the Saudi government.

“I’ve been writing on my twitter account directly to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and he has ignored our calls for a meeting. I have done it through government officials and even the PR company that deals with the Saudi government that gets given $144,000 a month to do the public relations here. And they haven’t answered a single one of our requests. So, they are probably afraid, or are trying to ignore us to make us go away. But look what is happening now. Because of that situation now we have a bill passing in the Senate that now has to go to the House of Representatives and the president should pass it all or should veto it. We don’t know yet what his reaction is going to be,” he said.   

Rodriguez said he is not planning to sue the Saudi government if the bill is approved. In his opinion, it’s the families of the victims of the attack who should do so.

“But remember, the lawsuits are because of crimes perpetrated on the US soil. We are not talking about the terrorist attacks that happened in other countries. This happened in the US. So, that shouldn’t be the concern when it comes to a lawsuit. They should be trying to get to the truth about what happened on that day and those responsible whoever they are [should] pay the price,” the 9/11 survivor added.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.