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UAE ambassador 'threatened US with intelligence withdrawal' over 9/11 responsibility law

The ambassador's e-mails were allegedly hacked earlier this year [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 June, 2017

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Ambassador Otaiba allegedly e-mailed US senators, warning that intelligence cooperation between the two countries was at risk if the Jasta act were passed.

The UAE ambassador to the United States threatened to withdraw intelligence cooperation if the families of 9/11 victims were allowed to sue the UAE or Saudi Arabia.

Leaked emails, allegedly taken from the inbox of the ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, showed that he warned US senators against passing the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Jasta) act in September 2016.

This is according to a report by British newspaper The Telegraph.

After Jasta was passed, a lawsuit was filed against the Dubai Islamic Bank in the UAE, claiming it had 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."

Otaiba reportedly responded to the news of the lawsuit, saying: "It was going to happen sooner or later."

Two of the 9/11 hijackers held UAE nationality, while fifteen others came from Saudi Arabia.

The Telegraph reported that one e-mail sent by a senior US official to Otaiba on December 1 said he "cannot reach Adel [al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister]" .

Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir confirmed his December trip to the United States was an attempt "to persuade [the US] that there needs to be an amendment of the law", referring to Jasta.

In September, the US Congress voted overwhelmingly to override President Barack Obama's veto of the JASTA.

In opposing the law, Obama said it would harm US interests by opening up the United States to private lawsuits over its military missions abroad.

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