Recently submitted evidence in an ongoing lawsuit against Saudi Arabia claims that its embassy in Washington DC may have funded a ‘dry run’ using two of its employees before the events of September 11.
The revelation further stokes claims that Riyadh had a hand in the terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people 16 years ago, according to The New York Post.
A newly added complaint states that the Saudi Government paid two nationals posing as students to come to the US to fly from Phoenix to Washington ‘in a dry run for the 9/11 attacks.’
The second hijacked plane is seen as it hits the second tower of the World Trade Center
The late King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the Riyad Air Base to greet French Jacques Chirac (Pictured 2006)
The complaint was filed on behalf of more that 1,400 family members who lost loved ones on 9/11.
‘We’ve long asserted that there were longstanding and close relationships between al Qaeda and the religious components of the Saudi government,’ said Sean Carter, lead attorney for the 9/11 plaintiffs.
The class action suit is arguing that a ‘pattern of both financial and operational support’ from the Saudi government aided the hijackers in the months and days leading up to the event.
Lawyers representing the Saudi government have filed motions to dismiss the claims.
The new allegations stem from FBI documents which claim that the two Saudi nationals, Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalaw, were in fact members of ‘the Kingdom’s network of agents in the US.’
The complaint further claims that both were participants in the 9/11 conspiracy, and had trained in Afghanistan with a number of al-Qaeda operatives that participated in the attacks.
September 11, widow Kristen Breitweiser, is one of 1,400 plaintiffs suing the Saudi government (pictured 2004)
And while living in Arizona, they were in regular contacts with a Saudi hijacker pilot and al Qaeda leader from Saudi now incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, the Post reported.
Just weeks before, at least one tried to re-enter the US but was turned away because he was placed on a terrorist watch list.
Qudhaeein was apparently employed at the Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, while Shalawi was ‘a longtime employee of the Saudi government’ in Washington DC.
In 1999, both men reportedly tried multiple times to gain access to the cockpit of an America West flight to Washington, testing flight-deck security in advance of the hijackings.
‘After they boarded the plane in Phoenix, they began asking the flight attendants technical questions about the flight that the flight attendants found suspicious,’ according to a summary of the FBI case files.
Standing atop rubble with retired New York City firefighter Bob Beckwith, President George W Bush rallies firefighters and rescue workers (pictured September 14, 2001)
President George W. Bush sits and chats with Foreign Minister Saudi Al-Fail of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office, Washington, District of Columbia, September 20, 2001
‘When the plane was in flight, al-Qudhaeein asked where the bathroom was; one of the flight attendants pointed him to the back of the plane,’ it added. ‘Nevertheless, al-Qudhaeein went to the front of the plane and attempted on two occasions to enter the cockpit.’
Pilots were forced to make an emergency landing in Ohio, where FBI agents arrested Qudhaeein and Shalawi.
After an initial interrogation, however, they were released from FBI custody.
‘The dry run reveals more of the fingerprints of the Saudi government,’ said Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband was killed at the World Trade Center.
‘These guys were Saudi government employees for years and were paid by the Saudi government,’ she added. ‘In fact, the Saudi Embassy paid for their plane tickets for the dry run.’
Carter said that the new allegation added to the lawsuit stem from ‘nearly 5,000 pages of evidence submitted of record and incorporated by reference into the complaint,’ along with ‘every FBI report that we have been able to obtain.’
Still, hundreds of thousands of US documents relating to Saudi Arabia still remain secret.