NY DAILY NEWS — Outraged 9/11 families accused Saudi Arabian officials Saturday of blackmailing the U.S. to hide their alleged role as financiers of the World Trade Center terrorists.
The fierce attacks came after a Saturday report that the Saudis threatened to sell off up to $750 billion in U.S. assets if Congress passes legislation allowing its government to be held liable in 9/11-related lawsuits.
Families who lost loved ones in the terror attacks say President Obama, who is lobbying intensively to derail the bill, according to The New York Times, is on the wrong side of the issue.
“I’m furious. This is a slap in the face to the 9/11 families,” said Jim Riches, the retired FDNY deputy chief whose firefighter son Jimmy died in the Trade Center rubble.
“Let them keep their money. We don’t want their money. It’s not worth 3,000 American lives. Call their bluff.”
Riches slammed Obama, five months shy of the 15th anniversary of the attacks.
“How in his right conscience can he do this?” Riches asked. “Meanwhile, they slap us in the face. Stand up for our principles.”
Terry Strada, whose husband Thomas was a Cantor Fitzgerald bond broker on the 104th floor, echoed other family voices by urging the Obama administration to stand its ground against the Saudi financial threat.
“Why do they cave in to the Saudi Arabian government instead of protecting the American people?” she asked. “They’re just trying to keep the Saudis’ dirty little secret. We’ve never held them accountable.”
The family members are currently appealing a decision made last year that protected Saudi Arabia from a lawsuit charging the country abetted the 9/11 terrorists. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabian citizens.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (inset, opposite page), in a Washington visit last month, informed U.S. lawmakers of the potential sale of treasury securities and other American assets, the Times reported. The move would be necessary to prevent U.S. courts from possibly freezing the assets due to lawsuits.
The move could destabilize the U.S. dollar, experts told the Times.
• HOW US COVERED UP SAUDI ROLE IN 9/11 — NY POST
• SECRET 28 PAGES OF 9/11 REPORT UNDER NEW SCRUTINY — NBC NEWS
• OIL FREEZE DEAL FACES TROUBLE AS SAUDI-IRAN TENSIONS SPIKE — ASIA TIMES
• OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SAUDI ARABIA IS FRACTURING — HOT AIR