With only one day to go for the 15th anniversary of the biggest terrorist attack ever perpetrated on American soil, US politicians have reopened the possibility of foreign governments being involved in the terrorist attacks. Suspicions point to Saudi Arabia, an ally in the Middle East that has become a close partner of the US in the fight against #ISIS.
An accusation 15 years in the making
On September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked and used as weapons against the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the White House (or Capitol) – which failed and crashed near Pennsylvania – causing close to 3000 deaths. In the days and months that followed the attack, the responsible seemed clear as all members formed part of the Terrorist organization named al-Qaeda.
However, the fact that 15 out of the 19 terrorists were Saudi Arabian citizens raised suspicions on whether Arabian authorities were aware of the planning of these attacks. Some investigators went even further and affirmed that they were financed and trained by the Saudi government. No solid proof was ever found and the fact that Saudi Arabia was a US ally in the Middle East region made the interest diminish as years went by.
Bill will allow US citizens to sue Saudi Arabia
The #Congress, following the decisions taken by the Senate, has approved what has been named “Justice against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” (JASTA) which would overrule the 1976 “Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act” (FISA) that establishes that no US citizen can sue a foreign sovereign country for terrorism in an American court.
Experts have already maintained that JASTA will be negative on both sides. On one hand, It will weaken - even more, if possible – relations between Saudi Arabia and the US who are allies with similar perspectives on the Middle East, as we can see in Syria and Iraq.
On the other hand, JASTA will open up a wound with family victims that will use this new Law to sue Saudi Arabia. The bill, nevertheless, doesn’t have any real power to enforce any court decision and seems to be a “vengeance bill” that will actually have no repercussion, whatever the court rules.
President Barack Obama has promised to Veto the bill
Making use of his Presidential powers, President #Obama has promised to veto it. In the administration's opinion, the suing of Saudi Arabia by US citizens would only damage the relationships between both countries, and what is most important, set a terrible precedent for the United States.
If the United States allows their citizens to sue foreign countries despite their “Sovereign immunity,” how long would it be before other citizens of other nations do the same to the United States? That is a question President Barack Obama is not willing to know the answer to.
However, the veto can be overruled if two-thirds of the Congress and the Senate decide to proceed with the Bill. The question now is if the Democrats are willing to go through with the bill and disavow their President with only two months left of his presidency.