John Lehman, a above affiliate of the 9/11 Commission, says in a affidavit account that the government of Saudi Arabia is amiss to claim, as it does in a accusation in New York City, that the console absolved it of albatross for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Before Sept. 11, 2001, Lehman said in a filing Tuesday, intelligence agencies developed abundant affirmation Saudi adept missions formed to advance the ultraconservative anatomy of Islam accepted as Wahhabism, which in about-face accurate Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
Lehman, a above secretary of the Navy and a citizen of Bucks County, said he was “deeply troubled” by affirmation that two of the hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar, acquired money and abetment in award an accommodation in San Diego from a Saudi government employee, Omar al-Bayoumi. Bayoumi is believed by some American admiral to accept been a Saudi intelligence operative.
“Contrary to the appearance advocated by the kingdom, the 9/11 Commission did not absolve Saudi Arabia of accountability for the contest of Sept. 11, 2001, or the costs of al-Qaeda,” Lehman said.
The account was filed in a accusation by victims of the 9/11 attacks adjoin the Saudi government, alleging it bankrolled Islamist charities that in about-face provided banking and logistical abutment to al-Qaeda. Attorneys for the Center City close of Cozen O’Connor, which is spearheading the litigation, additionally filed statements from above Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, a above 9/11 Commission member, and above Florida Sen. Bob Graham, onetime arch of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The statements aloft apropos about accessible Saudi government albatross for the attacks.
The Saudi government’s American attorneys accept again alone the allegations, citation a award in the 9/11 address reading, “We accept begin no affirmation that the Saudi government as an academy or chief Saudi admiral alone adjourned al-Qaeda.”
But Kerrey said, “To the contrary, cogent questions abide changing apropos accessible captivation of Saudi government institutions and actors.”
Among the added affidavit filed by the Cozen attorneys were transcripts from several hours of interviews with Zacarias Moussaoui, a French al-Qaeda affiliate of Moroccan coast who was bedevilled to activity in bastille for his captivation in the 9/11 plot.
Moussaoui was arrested in Minnesota for overstaying his acceptance afore the attacks. He is actuality captivated in a federal supermax bastille in Florence, Colo., area attorneys from Cozen and added firms took his deposition.
During his bent trial, Moussaoui’s attorneys declared him as mentally amateur in a bid to abstain the afterlife penalty. But the attorneys who interviewed him said he was both articular and aboveboard during their exchange.
“He was agreeable and thoughtful, and actual anon acknowledging to the questions we were asking,” said Sean Carter, who handled the degradation for the Cozen team. “I and the added attorneys came abroad with the activity that he was actual credible.”
In the deposition, Moussaoui claimed to accept discussed a plan with an agent of the Saudi admiral in Washington to shoot bottomward Air Force One with a Stinger missile. He told of common contacts with bin Laden, who answerable him with developing a database of al-Qaeda donors. In those records, Moussaoui said, were contributions from arresting associates of the Saudi aristocratic family, declared charities accurate by the Saudi government, and assorted Saudi financiers.
He said fundamentalist clerics were admiring of al-Qaeda, and so able in Saudi Arabia that aristocratic ancestors associates acquainted accountable to accord to the agitator accumulation to authenticate adherence to the clerics.
Moussaoui declared as fiction letters that Saudi government admiral and associates of the bin Laden family, which operates a above architecture aggregation in the arid kingdom, had cut themselves off from Osama bin Laden because of his agitator activities. Bin Laden’s mother, amid added ancestors members, visited bin Laden in Afghanistan, he said. The trips were facilitated by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, Moussaoui said.
Published: February 4, 2015 — 7:11 PM EST | Updated: February 5, 2015 — 1:08 AM EST The Philadelphia Inquirer
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