A district judge in New York has rejected Saudi Arabia's request to end a lawsuit blaming the Sunni kingdom for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The judge appointed the US court on Wednesday can take over responsibility under the JASTA law passed by the 2016 Congress. The families of hundreds of people killed in the terrorist attacks have filed numerous lawsuits against the Saudi government over the past 16 years, supporting the al Qaeda terrorist group by funding charities that support Islamic militants.
The Saudi government has long denied that it played a role in the attack, which killed nearly 3,000 people, and had asked to dismiss the lawsuit because it deserves immunity as a sovereign nation
The plaintiffs described the decision from Wednesday as a step forward, saying that this meant that the Saudi government was obliged to give answers about its role in the attack. The lawsuit also demands billions of dollars in damages for the victims and their families, including more than 20,000 injured.
"Instead of seriously addressing this issue and combating the compelling evidence of the 9/1
The majority of the 19 attackers in the September 11 attacks were Saudi citizens. The court's decision was made when Saudi Arabia's increasingly powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman toured the United States, including meeting with President Donald Trump. Last week, Trump welcomed the Prince in the Oval Office and described the US relationship with Saudi Arabia as "the strongest it has ever been".