Investor’s Business Daily & Insurance Journal – 2011-09-24 00:10:10
Lloyd’s Sues Saudi Arabia for ‘Funding 9/11 Attacks’
Investor’s Business Daily
WASHINGTON (September 22, 2011) — Justice: A new 9/11 lawsuit portrays the Saudi government as having more control over al-Qaida charities before the attacks than it (or the US) has admitted. Let’s hear the truth.
Lloyds of London seeks $215 million in damages from the kingdom to recover claims it paid 9/11 victims and their families. The suit charges that the Saudi government funded al-Qaida through its banks and charities.
The complaint, filed in US court, states that without official Saudi sponsorship, “al-Qaida would not have possessed the capacity to conceive, plan and execute the Sept. 11 attacks.” In other words, absent Saudi support, the Twin Towers would still be standing — along with nearly 3,000 Americans.
We’re impressed by the documentation cited in the 156-page complaint by Cozen O’Conner, a major Washington law firm. It’s much more detailed than the lawsuit brought on behalf of 9/11 families, which a federal judge dismissed for lack of evidence. This one might have a shot. It points to new intelligence, including recently leaked diplomatic cables.
Among the findings:
* Senior Saudi officials and Saudi royal family members — including Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif — either served as executives of suspect charities or sat on their boards while the charities were used to launder money to al-Qaida; and they knew of the activities.
* The Saudi charities themselves often provided not only money but employment cover, ID badges and logistical support to al-Qaida operatives.
* For example, the Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya (SJRC) allegedly was used as a cover by several al-Qaida operatives, including two men acting as directors of the charity.
* Between 1998 and 2000, SJRC allegedly diverted more than $74 million to al-Qaida members and loyalists affiliated with its bureaus.
* At the time the SJRC was under the control of Saudi Prince Naif, who after 9/11 denied that Saudis were among the hijackers and hinted that Jews carried out the attacks.
* Each of the dozen branches of the Saudi-based International Islamic Relief Organization, one of the charities Osama bin Laden used to finance his terror camps, is overseen by a Saudi royal; and a Philippines office was founded by bin Laden’s brother-in-law.
* The Saudi royal family used its national bank to channel funds to bin Laden, and the family’s longtime banker, Khalid bin Mahfouz, allegedly “is also a primary financier of al-Qaida.”
* “Bin Mahfouz has acknowledged making a $270,000 contribution to bin Laden contemporaneous with the establishment of al-Qaida,” the claim says. And it alleges that he and his “handpicked” bank partner, Yassin al-Kadi, now a wanted terrorist, “necessarily were aware of the terrorist activities.”
* As interior minister, Naif placed employees inside the Saudi embassy as well as consulates throughout the US before 9/11. Some Los Angeles consulate officials and a San Diego-based Saudi intelligence agent have been linked to the hijackers and other terrorists.
In addition, computer hard drives seized in a post-9/11 raid of the offices of the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a suspected al-Qaida front, included: materials for forging US State Department ID badges; files on pesticides and crop-duster aircraft; photos of the bombed US embassies in East Africa and the bombed USS Cole; and before and after photos of the World Trade Center.
Of course, Saudi officials have repeatedly denied any ties to 9/11 or al-Qaida. But the plaintiffs in this case have assembled in one place the most extensive record yet of Saudi government involvement.
The federal judge hearing the case should not be quick to dismiss it, no matter how many Saudi-bought lawyers and lobbyists argue otherwise.
Lloyd’s Syndicate Withdraws 9/11 Lawsuit Against Saudi Arabia
(September 20, 2011) — Lloyd’s London’s Syndicate 3500 filed a notice on Monday, Sept. 19, to voluntarily dismiss its federal lawsuit against Saudi Arabia over 9/11 claims. The lawsuit, first filed on Sept. 8, had asserted that Saudi Arabia as well as several Saudi charity and financial organizations were instrumental in helping al Qaida carry out the 9/11 terror attacks.
Attorney Stephen Cozen of law firm Cozen O’Connor, who represents Lloyd’s, told Insurance Journal that he cannot comment on why Lloyd’s decided to drop the case 13 days after filing the complaint. He said, however, the suit could be refiled and also that there could be other similar lawsuits filed by other insurers in the future.
Cozen said he cannot talk about the lawsuit other than to say “that we were instructed to voluntarily dismiss without prejudice. That of course means that the suit is free to be refiled and certainly similar suits may be filed by others,” he said.
Cozen, the attorney for Lloyd’s Syndicate 3500, filed a notice to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit on Monday, Sept. 19. The case will likely be officially dismissed on Tuesday, Sept. 20, US, District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Clerk’s Office told Insurance Journal .
Dismissing Lawsuit Without Prejudice
Lloyd’s is voluntarily dismissing its lawsuit “without prejudice,” meaning the motion seeks to close the case without precluding the possibility of renewal at a later date, the court clerk’s office said. “There will be a statistical closing. It will be officially dismissed on Tuesday,” according to the clerk’s office.
The lawsuit was filed on Sept. 8 at the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The insurer charged that Saudi defendants “knowingly” provided material support and resources to al Qaida in years leading up to 9/11. The 154-page complaint described links between Saudi charity organizations and al Qaida and explained how the Saudi government supported al Qaida through these charity organizations.
Pursuant to the terms of the applicable policies of insurance, Lloyd’s Syndicate 3500 made 9/11-related claims payments on behalf of its liability insureds towards the individual settlements in an amount in excess of $215 million, according to the court documents.
These liability insureds included airlines, airport authorities, security companies, airplane manufacturers and other parties. Those who received settlements included individuals injured from the 9/11 attacks and families of individuals killed in the attacks, as well as businesses that suffered economic losses.
Defendants named in the complaint were Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya, Saudi Red Crescent Society, National Commercial Bank, Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Company. Also included as defendants are three Saudi citizens connected to these organizations, Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Suleiman Abdel Aziz Al Saud and Yassin Al Qadi.
The case is Underwriting Members of Lloyd’s Syndicate 3500 v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 11-00202, US District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania.
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