Saudi Arabia is pressuring United States President Donald Trump to remove law that allows the families of 9/11 attack victims to sue the Saudi kingdom. However, around 800 families on Monday went ahead and sued the oil-rich nation anyway.
The majority of the 19 hijackers involved in the September 2001 attacks were from Saudi Arabia. Four were from Lebanon, the UAE and Egypt, according to reports. Former President Barack Obama during his term had introduced a law which allowed the families of the victims to sue the Saudi government for its involvement in the attack.
The law, titled Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, holds governments responsible for the actions of their citizens against US nationals.
However, the Saudi Energy Minister and the head of the petroleum company Aramco, Khalid al-Falih, said that the Saudi government was "not happy" about the passage of the Act. The minister said that the law was being passed at a time of "heated political period."
"We believe after due consideration by the new Congress and the new administration, that corrective measures will be taken," the Saudi minister told The Wall Street Journal.
However, around 1,500 first responders of 9/11 and the families of 800 victims on Monday filed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, accusing the country of complicity in the terror attacks, according to PIX11. The suit, which was filed in a court in Manhattan, accuses Saudi Arabia of assisting some of the 9/11 masterminds by allegedly helping them settle in the United States.
The lawsuit has also accused Saudi royals of giving money to al Qaeda, and alleges that one Saudi official stayed in the hijackers' Virginia hotel room the night before the attack in September 2001.
The attack resulted in the death of just under 3,000 people, after hijackers crashed planes into the North and South Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Virginia. Some of the passengers managed to over-power hijackers on a fourth plane, which subsequently crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had launched a probe into the allegations about possible links between the Saudi kingdom and the 9/11 attackers after 19 hijackers were found to have come from Saudi Arabia. The kingdom, however, has denied all allegations and any involvement in the 9/11 attacks.