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9/11 Families File Lawsuit Against Saudi Arabia

Bryan R. Smith
Victims' family members look on during a ceremony at the World Trade Center site in New York on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.

Thousands of 9/11 families and first responders have filed a federal lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, alleging that the country funded the hijackers responsible for the World Trade Center attack.

The suit alleges that Saudi officials funneled millions to Al-Qaida through government employees and government-controlled charities.

Michael Barasch, who represents more than 1,600 plaintiffs, has been trying to take the suit to court for 16 years.

“People who lost loved ones, they really want to know, did Saudi Arabia back these 19 terrorists. It’s inconceivable that these people came here and were able to afford lodging and flying lessons and hijack these planes without significant financial help. And this lawsuit is gonna get us those answers.”

The lawsuit is being amended to include local residents and office workers who have been exposed to carcinogens in the aftermath of the attack. They are seeking unspecified damages.

The suit moved forward after Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act last September. The legislation lifted some of the protections granted to foreign states.

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