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Stars and Stripes in 911 Aftermath / Obama Visit to Saudi Arabia Photo Credits: heavy.com / Reuters

In December 2016, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir visited the US in an attempt to lobby the government into amending the controversial Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) – which came into force 28th September that year. The proposed law had initially been vetoed by Barack Obama, until this veto was overwhelmingly overruled by Congress. Obama declared this decision ‘a mistake’, lamenting that the Act would leave the US vulnerable to private litigation and hence handicap any future military endeavours overseas.

Now almost a year since the law was passed by Congress, and the transparency that civil action allowed means that repercussions are now beginning to be felt. JASTA permits victims of the Twin Towers terrorist attack to sue Saudi Arabia, with fifteen of the nineteen terrorists aboard the planes having hailed from the kingdom.

The latest revelations concern two Saudi nationals named Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi. The men were not aboard the fateful flights of 9/11, but are accused of being stationed in the US contemporaneously as members of “the Kingdom’s network of agents”.

It is alleged that two years prior to the assault on the World Trade Centre, al-Qudhaeein and al-Shalawi participated in a practice run in which they embarked on a flight to Washington. During the journey, they are said to have harassed staff with technical questions and repeatedly attempted to access the plane’s cockpit, to the extent that the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing whereupon the men were arrested and interrogated by the FBI, before being released.

According to Kristen Breitweiser, widowed during the 9/11 atrocity, the two men’s plane tickets had been bought by the Saudi Embassy. The allegations in the class action lawsuit are based on documented evidence numbering almost five thousand pages.

The lawsuit, which is based on almost 5,000 pages of new evidence including FBI reports,  argues that…

a pattern of both financial and operational support

…provided by the Saudi regime was instrumental to the hijackers ability to execute the catastrophe successfully. Hundreds of thousands of documents concerning the Saudi regime’s alleged involvement still remain secret.

Notoriously, two of the planes given permission to ignore the no-fly zone instated in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 belonged to two eminent Saudi families, with them also being granted private escorts to airports by the FBI.

The common bond between the US and Saudi Arabia – apart from the two countries’ cosy adjacency in the global executioners chart – is oil.

The UK’s treaties with the House of Saud in 1932 made its lands a British protectorate, therefore helping safeguard other territories Britain held in the region. Following this alliance with a Western power, the US followed suit and invested heavily in the kingdom, assisting the country’s burgeoning oil rush that commenced in 1933.

Saudi Arabia is now the US and UK’s largest foreign military sales customer, with hundreds of joint ventures having been forged between them. The trade deals between Saudi Arabia and the UK alone are worth over $17 billion, with over thirty thousand British nationals calling the country home.

A further tie between the US/UK and the Saudi regime is their mutual desire to quash Iranian influence and aspiration in the region.

After the 9/11 attacks both Afghanistan and Iraq were invaded under what were ultimately exposed as false pretences. The turmoil in the region eventually contributed to the Arab Spring, which saw the demise of Libyan dictator Gadaffi and the current ongoing proxy war between US and Russia, where Syria is the theatre being indiscriminately and persistently annihilated by warplanes and drones. Al-Qaeda (‘the network’ in Arabic) metamorphosed into the multi-dubbed ISIS / ISIL / Daesh / IS.

However many names are attributed to this militant uprising, the source of all their extremist beliefs is, and always has been, the Saudi Arabian promulgated doctrine of Wahhabism.

Newsfeeds are a mosaic of harrowing images portraying Syrian carnage and emaciated Yemeni children, victims of weaponry the West sells to the House of Saud – mosaic tiles grouted with text expressing impotent platitudes, with the terrorism now so prominent across Europe a direct consequence of the West’s response to the mother of all terrorist attacks, 9/11.

The events of that epochal day provided the impetus for America’s Longest War, currently standing at 16 years, and with no end in sight. The West being under attack is ironical collateral damage, vengeance gestated in the political vacuum left behind after attempts to impose artificial democracies or self-serving regime change in the Middle East.

Apart from in Saudi Arabia, of course.

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