July 23, 2016 |
Of all the tantalizing strands in the now declassified report on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks is the testimony of an FBI agent that a suspected actor in the plot had many contacts with the head of air traffic control in Saudi Arabia. The implication: What better way to suss out weaknesses of the U.S. civil aviation system before the hijackings than to confer with an expert. For years, the government of Saudi Arabia dismissed claims in a lawsuit that it had something to do with the Sept.
July 17, 2016 |
A long-classified document suggesting involvement by Saudi Arabian government employees in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was released by the House Intelligence Committee on Friday after a campaign by families and victims for its disclosure. The 28 pages - available at philly.com/911saudi - had been classified for 14 years until Friday afternoon. "While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi government," the report says.
June 6, 2016 |
Osama bin Laden was on the run. But not to worry; the Justice Department had his back. Soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as lawyers for families and victims scoured the globe for evidence, they asked for a copy of bin Laden's Interpol arrest warrant, issued at the request of the Justice Department. Justice did get back to the lawyers, but not with the answer they wanted. The U.S. government could not release any information without bin Laden's permission because to do so "generally constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy," wrote Edgar Smith, a Justice Department official who coordinated information requests with Interpol.
May 20, 2016 |
Given America's long-running battle with Islamist terrorists - a battle that won't end soon - we need to know which countries support terrorists under the table. Especially when those countries are supposed to be allies. So it's bizarre that the U.S. government still refuses to release the infamous 28 pages of the 2002 report of the joint congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. These classified pages supposedly implicate some Saudi officials in assisting the hijackers. As former Sen. Bob Graham (D., Fla.)
May 19, 2016 |
In a vote that could greatly complicate relations with a key Middle East ally, the Senate on Tuesday voted unanimously to expand the ability of U.S. citizens to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and John Cornyn (R., Texas), clarifies that foreign governments can be sued for supporting terrorism acts even when they occur outside the United States. Dozens of insurers and thousands of victims and families are suing Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the attacks, alleging that Saudi government employees helped form a support network for the 9/11 attackers.
May 4, 2016 |
After months of intense advocacy by families of victims of the 9/11 attacks and aggressive pushback from the Obama administration, the U.S. Senate is nearing a vote on a bill that would broaden the basis for suing Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the plot. The bill has been pushed by 9/11 survivors and their families and by insurers that paid out tens of billions of dollars as a result of the hijackings and the losses at ground zero. It is intended to bolster a 13-year-old lawsuit against the Saudi kingdom alleging that government-supported Islamist charities helped finance the 9/11 attackers.
April 22, 2016 |
How do you solve a problem like Saudi Arabia? President Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia this week will have little impact on the mounting American hostility toward the Saudis. Now that the United States is no longer dependent on Riyadh for oil, U.S. officials feel free to vent the pent-up anger that has been building for years. The most recent example is the bill in Congress that would allow Americans to sue the Saudi government if it is found to have played a role in the Sept.
January 12, 2016 |
If you're going to engage in a foreign policy capitulation, might as well do it when everyone is getting tanked and otherwise occupied. Say, New Year's Eve. Here's the story. In October, Iran test-fires a nuclear-capable ballistic missile in brazen violation of unanimous Security Council resolutions. President Obama does nothing. One month later, Iran does it again. The administration makes a few gestures at the United Nations. Then nothing. Then finally, on Dec. 30, the White House announces a few sanctions.
January 11, 2016 |
Edward Archer, the Yeadon man who confessed to shooting a city police officer "in the name of Islam," was arraigned Saturday on charges including attempted murder as a globe-spanning investigation stretched from the West Philadelphia crime scene to mosques and pilgrimage sites in the Middle East. Archer, 30, was ordered held without bond, pending a Jan. 25 preliminary hearing. But local police and federal terrorism investigators remained tight-lipped on any new information about the man whose brazen Thursday ambush of Officer Jesse Hartnett has restoked concerns of lone-wolf-style terror attacks like the one last month in San Bernardino, Calif.
January 7, 2016
ZIMBABWE No apologies for elephant exporting Zimbabwe is planning to export more elephants to China - and it won't say sorry for doing so. "We will not apologize to anyone," Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Environment, Water and Climate Minister, told reporters on Sunday. "Not even once because they are our elephants and our people live with a huge population of elephants and bear the trouble of interacting with them. " In the past, Zimbabwe's policy of exporting its wildlife to China has drawn the ire of conservationists, who note of a high demand for the ivory that can be taken from elephants' tusks in China.