The United Arab Emirates warned that it would halt intelligence-sharing with the United States in an attempt to block legislation that allows the families of September 11 victims to sue the UAE and Saudi Arabia over their potential roles in the attacks.
According to leaked emails obtained by The Telegraph, the UAE ambassador to DC, Yousef al-Otaiba, privately warned U.S. senators that Gulf countries at risk of being sued in American courts would be “less likely to share crucial information and intelligence” if the bill passed.
The emails show how the UAE worked with Saudi Arabia to lobby against the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), a law that would allow the families of September 11 victims to sue states that assisted the hijacking plot. Al-Otaiba coordinated his efforts with the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir.
Two of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Emiratis, while 15 were from Saudi Arabia.
This would not be the first time a Gulf state threatened to cut off intelligence cooperation to exert political pressure on an ally. In 2006, Saudi Prince Bander bin Sultan, then head of the Saudi national security council, flew to London and threatened to hold back vital intelligence about suicide bombers and terrorism.
Those threats were said to have caused then British PM Tony Blair to halt an investigation conducted by the Serious Fraud Office into charges of corruption and bribery involving bin Sultan and other members of the Saudi royal family.
The incident was related to one of the largest arms exchanges in British history, dubbed the “Yamamah deal” (or “The Dove deal”). The agreement was initially struck in 1985, but a series of contracts extended the deal over several decades.
Further digging into the Yamamah arms deal and Prince Bandar takes one down something of a rabbit hole, which may even tie into the September 11 plot.
The declassified 28 pages from the Congressional Joint Inquiry into the September 11 attacks are extremely revealing to an educated reader, almost certainly implicating Saudi officials, including Bandar himself, in financing the handlers of the hijackers.
JASTA passed last September, overriding a veto by then-President Obama, who opposed the legislation on the grounds that it might provoke foreign countries to start charging U.S. soldiers for their actions abroad.
Before the vote that overrode the veto, the UAE’s foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, warned that the law would “have negative effects on international cooperation in the fight against terrorism.”
Court documents also show that, after the JASTA bill was passed, a suit was filed against the Emirati Dubai Islamic Bank which alleged the bank “knowingly and purposefully provided financial services and other forms of material support to al Qaeda … including the transfer of financial resources to al Qaeda operatives who participated in the planning and execution of the September 11th attacks.”
When the case was brought to al-Otaiba’s attention, he replied that “It was going to happen sooner or later.”
While in a letter to a U.S. senator regarding the bill al-Otaiba said he understood “the desire to provide justice for those who were affected by 9/11,” he continued his efforts to kill the legislation.
Perhaps the families will see justice, sooner or later.
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Contributed by Will Porter of The Daily Sheeple.