In October, Saudi Arabia hired its tenth Washington lobbying firm in response to the September passing of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Bill (JASTA). This bill allows the families of victims of terror attacks to sue foreign states for acts of terrorism in the U.S, limiting the sovereign immunity of those countries. Before JASTA, the families of these victims could only sue countries that were State Department-designated sponsors of terrorism. This regulation was, in effect, protecting Saudi Arabia, which does not bear this designation, though it has long been recognized as the primary source of al Qaeda funding. With JASTA, the Saudi Arabian government is now vulnerable to lawsuits for its support of the 9/11 and so has greatly increased its lobbying efforts in D.C. The Hill reports that “Saudi Arabia is now paying upward of $1.3 million in lobbying fees per month” (thehill.com).
Saudi Arabia is seeking to avoid liability for 9/11 although unclassified documents demonstrate a strong link between Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 terrorists. In July of 2016, 28 pages of classified documents from the initial 9/11 congressional investigation were released, which described coordination between the 9/11 hijackers and Saudi officials. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has long provided financial and operational support to al Queda, through individuals and charities with substantial Saudi government sponsorship. Prior to the passing of JASTA, the Saudis made threats that they would sell off billions in U.S. assets if JASTA was enacted.
At this juncture, Saudi Arabia is seeking to undermine JASTA through intensified lobbying efforts. The “9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism” group has been very vocal in response to this lobbying and to Secretary of State John Kerry’s October meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir regarding JASTA. Terry Strada, a spokeswoman for this group, released a powerful statement that, “if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had nothing to do with 9/11, then they should make that case in a court of law instead of lobbying the State Department or spending millions of dollars on high-powered lobbyists to torpedo an important bipartisan accomplishment by this Congress.”
The Miller Firm filed the first 9/11 lawsuit against Saudi Arabia after the passage of JASTA and has a proven track record of winning judgments for terror victims and their families. The Miller Firm is presently accepting clients who were injured or families who experienced terrible loss on September 11, 2011. To learn more, please call 1-800-882-2525 and ask to speak to attorneys David Dickens, Timothy Litzenburg, Michael Miller, or Nancy Miller. They can be reached as well at [email protected] or [email protected].