Saudi Arabia threatens US with retaliation over 9/11 accusations
Saudi Arabia has warned the United States that it would be forced to dump hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of assets in the US if Congress passes a bill that would hold the Kingdom responsible for a role in the Sept. 11 attacks, US media has reported.
The Obama administration has reportedly tried to block the bill from passing and US officials have recently been holding intense discussions over the inevitable major fallout with the Saudis should the bill pass.
Last month, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told lawmakers during a trip to Washington the Kingdom would have to sell off $750 billion in assets before they could be seized by US courts, The New York Times said.
The bill would allow American courts to freeze US assets held by the Saudis, prompting the alleged warnings of a massive sell-off before the bill is passed.
Republican lawmakers have demanded the Obama administration release a top secret report that allegedly shows Saudi Arabia directly helped to finance the Sept. 11 attacks.
|The bill would allow American courts to freeze US assets held by the Saudis, prompting the alleged warnings of a massive sell-off before the bill is passed.|
The blacked-out pages were classified under the instruction of George W. Bush, who was close to the Saudi royal family, leading to speculation they confirmed Saudi involvement.
Saudi officials have long denied that the Kingdom had any role in the Sept. 11 plot.
Last year, the theory of Saudi involvement was revisited when the only al-Qaeda plotter convicted for the attacks told US lawyers that members of the Saudi royal family donated millions of dollars to the group in the 1990s.
The Saudi embassy denied the allegations, branding Zacarias Moussaoui "a deranged criminal whose own lawyers presented evidence that he was mentally incompetent".
The 9/11 Commission "found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organisation."
|A US judge last year dismissed claims against Saudi Arabia by families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks who accused the country of providing support to al-Qaeda.|
A US judge last year dismissed claims against Saudi Arabia by families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks who accused the country of providing support to al-Qaeda.
Last month, Iran rejected as "ridiculous" a US court ruling that the Islamic republic pay more than $10 billion in compensation over the al-Qaeda-claimed Sept. 11 attacks.
US President Barack Obama will visit Riyadh on Wednesday for his fourth time in a bid to mend increasingly stained ties between the two long-time allies.
The Saudis have been dismayed by Obama's outreach to its regional rival Iran and his perceived support for Arab Spring revolts. While the countries work together in the fight against the Islamic state group, the kingdom feels Obama could have been tougher on Syria's Bashar al-Assad.