Widow of 9/11 victim to Trump: Saudis should be held accountable for ‘role in murdering 3,000’
“Since the president was going over to Saudi Arabia and they are named in our lawsuit, I was prompted to write this letter to ask him to please not forget about 9/11 families,” Terry Strada, national chair of the 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism, told RT.
Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, becoming the first US president to choose a Muslim-majority country for his first overseas visit.
“We are just asking for our government to support us in our quest for justice against the murder, against Saudi Arabia for the role they played in murdering nearly 3,000 people,” said Strada who represents some 10,000 family members of those who were killed during the September 11, 2001 attacks.
According to Strada, it’s time “we have some accountability for this atrocious act that happened here [in the US] on 9/11.”
“It’s time that the Saudis stop pretending like they didn’t have any part of it and come to the table and discuss settlement for the families or our lawsuit will pursue in the courtroom.”
The letter which Strada wrote to Trump, dated May 12, was initially published by Breitbart News Network. It states that families of 9/11 victims call for “justice against terrorism.”
Strada’s husband was killed while working in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. She was left alone with three children, one of whom was only four days old at the time.
The letter noted that Saudi Arabia is a defendant in the group’s lawsuit “because of the involvement of its agents in supporting the 9/11 hijackers, and for support that flowed to al Qaeda [Al-Qaeda] from proselytizing institutions that the Saudis established and funded to spread a radical form of Islam that lies at the root of al Qaeda.”
“The Saudis continue to refuse to accept accountability for their actions and the injury they have caused.”
The letter was written ahead of Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and called on the US president not to bend to Riyadh, which may try to convince him “to betray the 9/11 families.”
“They will not put it that way, but will instead argue that JASTA [the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act] should be ‘fixed’ or ‘modified’ to eliminate ‘unintended consequences.’ Please do not let them get away with this dishonest approach.”
In March, the families of 850 people killed and 1,500 injured in the attacks filed a lawsuit, alleging that Saudi Arabia was partly to blame for the damage caused by the terrorists.
It argued that Riyadh also provided direct support to Al-Qaeda members by issuing them with passports and providing transportation. At least 15 of the 19 hijackers of the 9/11 attacks held Saudi citizenship.
The legal action only became possible after US lawmakers overrode then-President Barack Obama’s veto in September 2016 to pass the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which permits such lawsuits in American courts.
Riyadh, however, has repeatedly denied any role in the attacks and dismissed any involvement in funding the hijackers.