Saudi Arabia has threatened to sell off some $750 billion of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi ruling family to be held responsible in US courts for any role in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a report says.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir made the threat during a visit to Washington last month, informing the Obama administration and members of Congress of the potential sale of treasury securities and other American assets, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
The administration of President Barack Obama has lobbied against the bill, warning lawmakers of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation. The administration said such legislation would put Americans at legal risk overseas.
“It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens,” said Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. She is part of a group of victims’ family members pushing for the legislation.
If the Republican-dominated Congress passed the bill, American courts could order freezing the assets held by Saudi Arabia in the United States.
President Obama is expected to visit Riyadh next week. It’s not clear whether the issue will be discussed during the visit.
‘9/11 report shows Saudi complicity’
A number of US lawmakers have called on the White House to declassify documents that shed light on Saudi Arabia’s possible complicity in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The former congressmen say the 28-page classified document proves two Saudi nationals who were behind the 9/11 attacks received support and assistance from Riyadh while in the United States.
Former US senator and governor of Florida, Bob Graham, said in an interview on CBS’s "60 Minutes" on Tuesday that the US should declassify the redacted pages, which could implicate Saudi Arabia in the attacks and prove that there existed “some support from within the United States.”
The September, 11, 2001 attacks, also known as the 9/11 attacks, were a series of strikes in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.
US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists – 15 of them were Saudi citizens -- but many independent researchers have raised questions about the official account.
They believe that rogue elements within the US government orchestrated or at least encouraged the 9/11 attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.
Saudi Arabia or Israel?
According to American scholar Dr. Kevin Barrett, 15 of the 9/11 “hijackers” from Saudi Arabia were CIA agents working for the US government, which was seeking to destroy the Middle East for “Greater Israel” and to double the American military budget.
Dr. Barrett told Press TV on Wednesday that “15 Saudis were not working against the United States government, they were working for the United States government, and they were set up so that Saudi Arabia could be potentially blamed for the September 11 attacks, which were actually perpetrated by Israel and its American assets.”
“The purpose was to make sure that Saudi Arabia didn’t leave the American orbit, as the king had threatened in August of 2001,” he said.
Dr. Barrett said “Saudi Arabia is a US puppet state,” but “The actual relationship between the Saudis and 9/11 is certainly not one of having this Saudi ruling family completely controlling the 9/11 attacks and in charge of the plot; that’s ridiculous.”