‘..The Commonwealth of Virginia is a Hub for Islamic Terrorism in the United States..’
by, Kellan Howell | The Washington Times
Three students at George Mason University in Virginia were arrested last week after police found bomb-making materials in a dorm room during a raid.
One of the students, who lived in the dorm room, was charged with possession of bomb-making materials while the other two were arrested on alcohol- and drug-related charges, according to court documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
Police went to the room Wednesday night after receiving a report of flames shooting out of the window.
Search warrants say police found a leafy green substance, matchbooks, shaved match heads, a mortar and pedestal, lighter fluid, hand sanitizer candles and a PVC pipe, according to AP.
Investigators reported the items could be used to make an explosive device. The students were not identified in the report and it was not clear whether they had any ties to or were inspired by terrorist organizations.
The arrests are the latest in a growing list of cases of radical activity in Northern Virginia. Last week, Mohamad Khweis, an Alexandria man who traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State, was captured by Kurdish peshmerga fighters.
In January, two men in Woodbridge were charged with terrorism-related offenses. One of the men attempted to join the Islamic State in Syria.
In July, 17-year-old Prince William County native Ali Shukri Amin pleaded guilty to “conspiring to provide material support to terrorists,” when he helped an Islamic State recruit and another teen go to Syria.
Perhaps the Muslims know something we do “not” know…
Or, perhaps they know something we do.
by, AP | FNC | h/t Blazing CatFur
DUDLEY, Mass. – On the site of a long-idle dairy farm, leaders of a local mosque hope to build a final resting place for about 500 Muslim families — to the dismay of many residents of this quaint town in central Massachusetts.
In arguments cemetery developers and activists decry as thinly veiled bigotry, neighbors say they fear burial practices could contaminate groundwater because Muslims traditionally do not embalm bodies and bury their dead without coffins. They also cite concerns about noise, vandalism and increased traffic on the narrow road where the cemetery would be built. One resident said he worried he would have to put up with “crazy music” like the Islamic call to prayer.
Similar sentiments have been expressed by people in communities around the country where Muslim cemeteries have been proposed, including Farmervsille, Texas; Walpole, Massachusetts; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and Farmington, Minnesota.
In some cases, opponents have succeeded in defeating the new cemetery projects, while in others, Muslim groups have appealed and judges have cleared the way.
In Farmersville, near Dallas, some residents were openly hostile during meetings on a proposal to build a Muslim cemetery on a 35-acre site just outside the city. Farmersville is not far from Garland, where police fatally shot two Islamic State followers last year after they opened fire outside a cartoon contest lampooning the Prophet Muhammad.
Texas town divided over proposed Muslim cemetery:
Video courtesy of: CNN
“People don’t trust Muslims. Their goal is to populate the United States and take it over,” Barbara Ashcraft said during a meeting in August.
“You’re not welcome here!” another man yelled, according to news accounts.
“People don’t trust Muslims.”
– Barbara Ashcraft
City leaders were so bombarded with complaints that they published an informational guide on the city’s website, assuring residents that there is “no training facility planned for this site … no terrorist activity associated with this site … no plans for a mosque at this site.”
Diane Piwko, a Farmersville resident and business owner, said she worries the cemetery — proposed for prime property overlooking a lake — won’t be maintained and will become an eyesore at the entrance to the city.
“I am not basing any of my decision on why I’m against the cemetery on religion,” she said. “I base it on bad business practices.”
Muslim leaders have been taken aback by the level of resistance.
“We were absolutely flabbergasted, to be honest, to see that kind of opposition,” said Ismail Fenni, a representative of Al-Marhama Islamic Burial, which wants to build a cemetery in Walpole, south of Boston.
“All we’re trying to establish is a place for a final resting place for the loved ones of the Muslim community members,” he said. “No other activity is going to be happening in a cemetery except what is customary for a cemetery.”
There are relatively few dedicated Muslim cemeteries around the country, so many Muslim communities use sections of other cemeteries to bury their dead.
In Dudley, the proposal from the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester has been met with angry comments at local meetings.
“You want a Muslim cemetery? Fine. Put it in your backyard, not mine,” Daniel Grazulis said during a zoning meeting in February, drawing a round of applause.
Jason Talerman, a lawyer for the Islamic Society, said he believes the opposition is rooted in Islamophobia.
“They like to say it under the guise of, ‘Oh, we’re just trying to protect our water supply,’ but it’s thinly veiled,” he said.
Desiree Moninski, who lives across the street from the site, once farmed by her grandparents, said she and other opponents have legitimate concerns that have nothing to do with Islam.
“I grew up here. It’s farmland, and I’d like to see it stay that way,” she said.
“A lot of people moved here because it’s peaceful and quiet. I just don’t want a cemetery here, period. Any kind of cemetery. It doesn’t matter what kind.”
In January, a Minnesota judge overturned a local board’s denial of a permit for a cemetery near Farmington. In his written ruling, Judge David Knutson called the denial “arbitrary and capricious.” The judge said the proposal was rejected despite a “lack of any justification based on the health, safety and general welfare of the local residents.”
In West Pennsboro Township, Pennsylvania, a local board rejected a plan for a cemetery proposed last year by the Bosniak Islamic Cultural Center of Carlisle. A judge quickly overturned that ruling.
Douglas Cwienk, a hydrogeologist who testified for the Muslim group proposing the Pennsylvania cemetery, said that Muslim burial practices are unlikely to contaminate wells or groundwater, and that not embalming is better for local groundwater in most cases. (Jewish tradition also prohibits embalming.)
In Dudley, Muslim leaders have agreed to bury bodies in coffins or concrete vaults to appease residents on contamination concerns. Muslim families in the area currently bury their dead in a cemetery in Enfield, Connecticut — about 60 miles away.
Amjad Bhatti, president of the Islamic Society, said some of the comments have hurt because he considers the U.S. his home after moving from Pakistan 20 years ago and raising his family here.
“They belong to this land now,” he said. “This is our country.”
by, J. Schuyler Montague | sharia unveiled
Could this simply be a back-door land grab? A subversive, well-calculated plan to acquisition even more land for ‘an alleged purpose today,’ that could later be used for another purpose down the road? Remember, once they purchase and own the land, they can use it for any purpose they desire. They could change their minds tomorrow. Could they not bury weapons, explosives, NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) agents.. even fissile materials for constructing WMD’s (Weapons of Mass Destruction) in those “grave sites”…knowing they would be safe from search, because we would never go there and disturb their dead? Maybe even build another mega-mosque. This could easily be a foreseeable ‘Pandora’s Box’ hidden inside a ‘Trojan Horse.’ – In this day and age, in the interest of National Security, this is too risky to permit.
One thing is safe to say..anytime Islam is concerned, there is ALWAYS an ulterior motive.
Pictured above: “The Left Behind.” – Roula and Malek, two of the Syrian Christians that were removed from the list and replaced with additional Muslims.
Pope Francis and Advisers ‘Hand-pick’ 12 Muslims to Come Live with Him at the Vatican.
by, Isabel Hunter | Daily Mail – UK | h/t NTEB News and Glen Roberts @ Trop
A Christian brother and sister from Syria say they have been ‘let down’ by the Pope after he left them behind in a Lesbos refugee camp despite promises they would be given a new life in Italy.
Roula and Malek Abo say they were two of the lucky ‘chosen 12’ refugees selected by the Vatican to be taken from the desperate camp and housed in Rome.
But what seemed like the chance of a lifetime was cruelly snatched away when they were told the following day they couldn’t go. Instead three Muslim families were taken.
Roula, 22, and her brother arrived on Lesbos on April 1 – ten days after the controversial EU deal to return all asylum seekers arriving to Greece from Turkey.
Their application for asylum is being process and they are waiting to learn if they will be sent back to Turkey.
Stuck on Lesbos, Roula told MailOnline: ‘If they can do this for 12 people they can do it for more.
‘If you have promised to take people back to Italy will something like registration papers stand in your way?’
Neither Community Sant’Egidio, the charity which organised the trip, or the Vatican would explain the selection process over which migrants were picked.
Spokesman Massimiliano Signifredi called the incident ‘regrettable’ – adding: ‘The problem here is the three Syrians arrived after the March 20 deadline. They arrived just after the agreement between the European Union and Turkey.
Mr Signifredi said: ‘Our staff went to Lesbos and spoke with the people who were selected. But everything was decided by the Vatican.
‘The question why the Pope took only Muslims is difficult to understand and he was suffering, I think, because he wanted to do something also for Christians as the chief of the Catholic Church. But he couldn’t because there is this international agreement [with the EU].’
The Vatican declined to comment.
Still reeling over her dream being so cruelly dashed, Roula had to watch the three fortunate families board a plane for a new life in Europe while she and her brother were left behind to face an uncertain future in Greece.
Pope Francis, the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina, said the decision to take a dozen to Italy was a gesture of goodwill to set an example to the world to extend the hand of friendship during Europe’s migrant crisis.
They are being housed in Rome by Sant’Egidio, which has brought 250 Syrians to Italy since March.
Roula, her brother, 28, and a third man, their friend Samir, also 28, from Damascus, say a day or so before the Pope arrived they were approached by three volunteers believed to be from Sant’Egidio.
She explained: ‘They said they would take us to Italy, to pack our bags and to meet them the next day.
‘It was so secretive – they didn’t announce it to anybody and we were told to keep it a secret.
‘It seemed so unofficial – we didn’t know who they were or if they would really take us,’ Roula added.
‘I thought they might be organ traffickers – we had no idea.’
Samir had no such doubts when he was approached, however.
‘I was so excited to go to Italy – it was such a relief,’ he said. ‘They offered me my future on a plate, and then 24 hours later they took it away.
‘They had even told me that after a few months I could be reunited with my family and they would arrange for them to come from Damascus and join me in Italy.’
But the next day they received the crushing news that their places were given to another family.
The reason they were given was because they had arrived in Greece after the March 20 deadline for the EU deal.
The Pope told reporters on the plane back from Lesbos that it had been the idea of one of his aides and that he had immediately agreed.
‘I felt the spirit was talking to us,’ he said, adding that ‘everything was done according to the rules’, with documents provided by Italy, the Vatican and Greece.
Asked why they were all Muslim, he said there was something wrong with the papers of a Christian family that had originally been on the list.
All 12 migrants from three families have spoken of their delight at being set up in their own flats in Rome capital and given Italian lessons.
‘It was an amazing feeling [to be leaving the camp in Lesbos] because this was our big dream,’ said Hasan, a 31-year-old a garden designer who fled after the Syrian regime tried to make him join the army. He is now in Rome with his son Riad, two, and wife, Nour.
‘When we came here to Sant’Egidio everyone has been very helpful and kind. Now we have our own room [apartment] which is just for us.
‘We have been treated very, very well. We really feel now at last we are safe.’
But 1,200 miles away in the sweltering makeshift camp with the rats, snakes and rubbish of those who remain faced with the prospect of being returned to Turkey is Samir.
‘I was very disappointed,’ he said.
The siblings are trying to stay positive as they want to travel to Germany where their mother is living. But they are at a loss to explain why Sant Edigio volunteers appeared to ‘play god’ and got their hopes up only to let them down.
‘We’re happy for the families that went of course,’ said Roula, who is hoping the charity stands by its promise to fast-track their applications and come back for them, but it is no guarantee.
She went on: ‘We don’t care for one country over another – I just want to be with my mum.’
Roula and Malek left Qamishli, which is in Syria near the Turkish border, in March, in fear for their lives.
‘They killed the Christians in Raqqa we heard, so of course we had to leave,’ Roula said.
Malek added: ‘We stayed as long as possible, because it’s not easy to get the money to leave Syria. It takes you 50 years to buy a house so you don’t decide to leave it in a minute.
‘We were clinging to the hope that it will get better. We know that as soon as we leave the house people will come and take our stuff. We know we can’t go back.
Pictured above: “The Chosen.” – The 12 Muslims whom were chosen by the pope to come live with him at the Vatican.
‘We wanted to finish university – I studied law and Roula was studying to be a primary school teacher.’
The pair had hoped finishing their education would give them a better chance to start a new life in Europe, but Roula had to abandon her studies to flee.
Samir left Syria for Turkey late last year, just before Christmas, after he escaped being forced to join President Assad’s army fighting a war he doesn’t believe in and do his military service.
‘They force you to sign up and they make you kill people – if you don’t, they kill you. I had to leave,’ he told MailOnline.
Like many Syrians, he first tried to make a new life for himself in Turkey, despite having to wait for months on the Turkish-Syrian border, as Turkey has abandoned its open door policy to allow refugees fleeing the violence to safety.
‘I was in Istanbul for three months trying to find work. I tried so hard, but it was impossible. People look down on you there – they don’t want to hire Syrians,’ he said.
So he joined the thousands of his desperate countrymen and the now standard fee of €2,000 to cross to Lesbos on a rubber dinghy.
In Kara Tepe, the camp named in Turkish because it is above the black cliffs smugglers tell their newly branded captains to aim for, Samir, Roula and Malek joined 900 other refugees deemed vulnerable and have their applications on hold.
Much preferred to the feared Moria detention centre where migrants are sent upon arrival, the camp is nestled on hillside surrounded by olive trees, and is exclusively reserved for families who have vulnerable members – those who are disabled, have severe trauma and are survivors of torture or rape, or are single women, pregnant or lactating mothers.
Inhabitants are free to go to the supermarket, as long as they have written permission, and are served meals twice a day.
NGOs provide humanitarian assistance and volunteers help out with clothes distribution and activities for the bored children.
While the residents are free to leave, if they are caught outside the camp without written permission, they face deportation or will be moved to the Moria detention centre.
But it is miserable and the atmosphere is tense.
For many the disappointment of having made it to Greece and across the water to be told they cannot go any further is too much to bear – made worse by the conditions.
‘We get told that we are lucky to be here in this field,’ grandmother Kawther Yousef told MailOnline, ‘but what are we, sheep?’
‘This is the fifth snake the boys have killed – they’re all about this size, they’re babies – but where is the mother?’ another grandmother called Susan from Kobane added.
The group of women are all alone – their husbands have either died in the fighting or they have gone ahead to Europe and are desperate to be reunited.
All three families selected by the charity were taken from Kara Tepe camp to meet the Pope in Mytilene before jetting off to their new lives in Rome.
But for the hundreds left behind, the idea of selecting such a small number people seemingly at random is a hard pill to swallow.
Wijdan Yasir, a 28-year-old recently arrived Muslim Immigrant from Pakistan, charged with sexually assaulting 2 small female children and a woman in Lethbridge swimming pool. Photo courtesy of: Ezra Levant
by, The Calgary Sun | h/t Ezra Levant
A Calgary man is facing sex assault charges after a woman and two girls said they were groped in a Lethbridge swimming pool.
Police were called to a south Lethbridge hotel Saturday after receiving a complaint a strange man inappropriately touched a woman and two minors in the hotel pool.
A man was found by police and arrested without incident.
Wijdan Yasir, a 28-year-old Calgary man, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault and two charges of sexual interference with a minor.
Yasir was released on $1,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in a Lethbridge court on April 29.
Police say there may be other victims or witnesses who may not have been identified, given that the incident took place in a hotel pool. Police said anyone with information should call them.
by, Lydia Willgress | Daily Mail – UK and AP
Fresh information allegedly connecting the government of Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 terror attacks has been released just as Barack Obama arrived in Riyadh to a frosty reception.
Officials have revealed that the flight certificate of Al-Qaeda bomb maker Ghassan Al-Sharbi was discovered hidden in an envelope from the Saudi embassy in Washington when they arrested him in 2002.
Al-Sharbi is believed to have learned how to fly with the hijackers but did not take part in the attacks. Shortly before his arrest, he buried a bundle of documents, which is believed to have included the certificate.
The cache was discovered by US authorities and details, written in a memo known as Document 17 in 2003, were released without fanfare by investigators last year. They were only brought to the public’s attention when an activist discovered them and wrote about them on his website earlier this week.
The release has fueled concerns the Saudi government may have been linked to the coordinated attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people and come at a particularly sensitive time.
Video courtesy of: CNN
President Obama has just arrived in the country amid mounting pressure to declassify a 28-page section of a Congressional report which many believe will point to Saudi involvement in the 9/11 plane hijackings.
Victims’ families have been pushing Congress for the right to sue Saudi Arabia over the death of their loved ones.
Activist Brian McGlinchey claimed the details of the flight certificate would lead to people questioning the extent government individuals were involved, according to The Times.
He said: ‘The envelope points to the fundamental question hanging over us today: to what extent was the 9/11 plot facilitated by individuals at the highest levels of the Saudi government?’
Previous court decisions have ruled that there is insufficient evidence to find Saudi Arabia culpable in the terror attacks, which is why they are now calling for the release of 28 classified pages from the 9/11 congressional report which is believed to show a stronger connection to Saudi funding of the attacks.
This has put Obama in a difficult position, with 9/11 families accusing him of siding with the Kingdom and Saudi officials threatening to sell hundreds of billions of dollars of American assets if Congress passes a bill that would allow the government to be sued over the attacks.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has said his country would sell up to $750 billion in US treasury securities and other assets before the bill puts them in jeopardy.
The administration has tried to stop Congress from passing the legislation, a bipartisan Senate bill. Earlier this week, Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, indicated that President Obama would veto any such legislation.
The increasingly strained relationship between the two countries was laid bare in Riyadh this morning, when Mr Obama arrived at King Khalid International Airport, to be greeted by Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the governor of Riyadh, as opposed to the king himself.
Saudi state television did not immediately air Obama’s arrival, which was unusual since right before Air Force One landed, State TV showed King Salman greeting other senior officials from Gulf nations arriving for the Gulf Cooperation Council summit.
Mustafa Alani, a security analyst at the Gulf Research Center, said the decision to send a lower ranking official to greet Mr Obama was intended to send a clear message that they have little faith in him.
‘He will find a leadership that’s not ready to believe him,’ he said. ‘The Saudis had disagreements with previous presidents. Here you have deep distrust that the president won’t deliver anything.’
Obama eventually did meet King Salman at Riyadh’s Erga Palace before the six-nation GCC summit opens on Thursday.
‘The American people send their greetings and we are very grateful for your hospitality, not just for this meeting but for hosting the GCC-U.S. summit that’s taking place tomorrow,’ Obama said, referring to the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council summit.
King Salman offered similarly gracious words through a translator, saying: ‘The feeling is mutual between us and the American people.’
Meanwhile Mr Obama and Ash Carter, his Defense Secretary, used the trip to appeal to other Gulf nations to do more to support Iraq economically and politically. Mr Carter asked them to help with the reconstruction of the cities of Ramadi and Hit as well as Anbar province, which have been left devastated by ISIS.
Obama on the 9/11 Secret Documents:
Video courtesy of: MEGANEWS
Fifteen of the nineteen men who hijacked four planes and flew them into targets in New York and Washington in 2001 were Saudi citizens, though the country has always denied having any role in the attacks.
A U.S. commission established in the aftermath of the attacks also concluded there was no evidence of official Saudi connivance. However, the White House has been under pressure to declassify a 28-page section of the report that was never published on the grounds of national security.
President Obama will decide whether to declassify the sealed documents by June. During an interview with Charlie Rose this week, he said that James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, was nearly done with a review of the documents to ensure that whatever is made public does not damage US national security interests.
‘I have a sense of what’s in there’, Mr Obama told Rose.
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, believes the pages should be released.
‘I think I know what it’s going to say,’ Mr Trump said on Fox & Friends. ‘It’s going to be very, very profound, having to do with Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia’s role on the World Trade Center, and the attack.’
Former US Senator Bob Graham earlier this month said Saudi officials are against the bill that would make it easier for families to sue.
‘They are so fearful of what would emerge if there were to be a full trial, he said. ‘That says something about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in 9/11.
by, Kelly Riddell | The Washington Times
The U.S. is about to start accepting a surge of Syrian refugees — all vetted in less time than originally anticipated by the federal government.
Because of a spike in Middle Eastern refugees needing placement, the Obama administration has decided to rush their vetting process to three months, from the original 18-24 months.
“While the resettlement process usually takes 18 to 24 months, the surge operation will reduce the time to three months,” the Associated Press reported Thursday.
Since October, 1,000 Syrian refugees have moved to the U.S. from Jordan. Mr. Obama said it was his goal to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by Sept. 30, but the process has been slow. A resettlement center opened in Amman in February to help meet that goal, and about 600 people are interviewed every day at the center, the AP said.
The first Syrian family to be resettled in the U.S. under a sped-up “surge operation” for refugees left Jordan Wednesday.
The Refugee Resettlement Watch, which monitors the resettlement efforts, has reported 99 percent of those relocated to the U.S. are Sunni Muslims, and they expect that trend to continue under the surge operation.
Gina Kassem, the regional refugee coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, told AP the target of 10,000 refugees “is a floor and not a ceiling, and it is possible to increase the number.”
More refugees with less screening time — what could possibly go wrong?
- The administration has tried to stop Congress from passing the legislation
- Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Juberi told Washington lawmakers the country would be forced to sell $750 billion in Treasury securities
- The revelations come as President Obama decided whether to declassify 28 pages of sealed 9/11 documents
- White House will make a decision by June
- Bush and Obama administrations have refused to unseal the documents, arguing their release would jeopardize national security
- Suggestions the files could expose a Saudi connection to the attacks
And let’s not forget: Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia
by, The Daily Mail – UK | h/t Blazing CatFur
The families of 9/11 victims in the US are reportedly infuriated at the administration of President Barack Obama for ‘siding with Saudi Arabia‘ over a congressional bill that could incriminate Saudi officials for the deadly attacks on September 11, 2001 in America.
The families of victims are making a renewed push to declassify 28 pages of a 838-page congressional report on the worst terror attack on American soil, which points the blame towards Saudi Arabia.
Until now,the Obama administration has so far refused to reveal the contents of the missing pages and looks to be leaving the decision to a Congressional vote.
Speaking to the New York Times, Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on September 11 said: ‘It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens.’
Ms. Kleinberg is part of a group of victims’ family members pushing for the legislation against the Middle Eastern country, however so far all attempts to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have failed.
The group says the Obama administration has ‘consistently sided with the kingdom’ and thus thwarted their efforts to learn ‘the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot.’
Bob Graham tells 60 Minutes the secret 28 pages prove Saudi Arabia financed 9/11 attacks:
Last September, the latest lawsuit brought by families of victims of the 9/11 attacks, was thrown out. A previous attempt in 2013 also failed to make any headway.
A US judge stated there was insufficient evidence linking the Gulf country to the 2001 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
Among the evidence dismissed were claims by one man in custody that a Saudi prince helped finance the plot.
Of the 19 men behind the attacks, 15 were citizens of Saudi Arabia.
Jim Kreindler and Sean Carter, lawyers representing the families are fighting to have 28 pages of a 838-page congressional report into the attacks, declassified as part of the lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia.
Kreindler said the White House could be doing a lot more to ensure transparency.
‘The administration views the 9/11 families suit as an impediment to the U.S.-Saudi relationship,’ he told NBC News.
Speaking of the the President’s forthcoming visit to the region this week and meeting with King Salman, Mr Carter believes the topic should be discussed.
‘I think that he should raise not only the 28 pages, but the unresolved disputes between 9/11 families and Saudis generally.’
Saudi officials have threatened to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars of American assets if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible for any role in the attacks.
The warning was delivered by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir last month during a visit to Washington.
The minister said his country would sell up to $750 billion in US treasury securities and other assets before the bill puts them in jeopardy.
The administration has tried to stop Congress from passing the legislation, a bipartisan Senate bill.
Al-Juberi purportedly informed the lawmakers during a trip to Washington that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell a huge chunk of American financial assets on the world market, fearing the legislation could become law and U.S. courts would then freeze the assets.
The Times said Riyadh’s resolve to actually deliver on the threat is dubious, since selling off those assets would be technically challenging and would damage the dollar, against which the Saudi national currency is pegged.
Under the current US law, foreign nations have a degree of immunity from being sued in American courts.
The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 is one of the reasons why families of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks largely failed to bring to court the Saudi royal family and charities over suspicion of financially supporting the attacks.
15 of the 19 men who hijacked four planes and flew them into targets in New York and Washington in 2001 were Saudi citizens, though Riyadh has always denied having any role in the attacks.
A US commission established in the aftermath of the attacks also concluded there was no evidence of official Saudi connivance. However, the White House has been under pressure to declassify a 28-page section of the report that was never published on the grounds of national security.
President Obama will decide whether to declassify the sealed documents by June.
The so-called pages are currently locked away in a secure basement room at the Capitol and although they can be read by members of Congress, the pages which are rumored to expose Saudi Arabia’s connection to the attacks, remain classified.
It’s believed the 28 pages could shed more light on the money and connections used to finance the attacks and are said to include information ‘suggesting specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers while they were in the United States,’ according to the chapter’s introduction in the report.
Former Florida senator Bob Graham said the White House made it clear to him that a decision on the secret files would be made in the next two months.
Graham told Fox News he was ‘pleased that after two years this matter is about to come to a decision by the president’.
The former senator has long campaigned for the documents to be declassified, but both the Bush and Obama administrations have argued doing so was a national security risk.
Graham and other critics believe the files expose Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the attacks – something the U.S. government has allegedly sought to keep quiet.
The timing of the release could be highly significant, with the president heading to Saudi Arabia to meet leaders in the region next week.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called for the documents to be released ahead of that summit so Obama could discuss any consequences with the Saudi government.
‘If the president is going to meet with the Saudi Arabian leadership and the royal family, they think it would be appropriate that this document be released before the president makes that trip, so that they can talk about whatever issues are in that document,’ Gillibrand said.
She told CBS’ 60 Minutes that she was unsure how the Saudis would react to the release, but said the family members of 9/11 victims deserved to know what the documents said.
President Obama will arrive in Riyadh on Wednesday for meetings with King Salman and other Saudi officials.
There have long been questions over Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the attacks, which left 2,977 innocent people dead after four passenger airliners were hijacked and crashed into both of the World Trade Center towers in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Apart from the hijackers, Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a U.S. raid on his lair in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011, was also of Saudi origin.
He was the son of a Saudi billionaire with close ties to the kingdom’s royal family.
‘The Saudis know what they did. We know what they did,’ Graham told 60 Minutes.
‘There are a lot of rocks out there that have been purposefully tamped down, that if were they turned over, would give us a more expansive view of the Saudi role.’
Graham added that he believes the terrorists were ‘substantially’ helped by the Saudi Arabian government, financiers and charities.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also called for the 28 pages to be declassified, saying that the refusal to do so was ‘a mistake’ as she added to the Democrats piling pressure on Obama.
‘I have always advocated for providing as much transparency as possible to the American people consistent with protecting our national security,’ she said.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said he did not know whether Obama had looked at the sealed documents himself.
He confirmed the files were being reviewed but mentioned that the 9/11 Commission’s report found no evidence of al-Qaeda being funded by Saudi officials.