Lloyd’s of London’s Syndicate 3500 has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Pennsylvania against Saudi Arabia, several Saudi charitable and financial entities and prominent Saudi citizens over the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Lloyd’s says the Saudi defendants are directly responsible for the attacks and should therefore be responsible for $215 million in claims Lloyd’s paid out.
The 154-page suit, filed on September 8, names as defendants the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya, Saudi Red Crescent Society, National Commercial Bank, Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Company. Also included as defendants are three Saudi individuals tied to those entities, Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Suleiman Abdel Aziz Al Saud and Yassin Al Qadi. The lawsuit was filed at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
“Each of the defendants named herein was a knowing and material participant in Al Qaeda’s conspiracy to wage jihad against the United States, its nationals and allies,” according to the lawsuit.
The insurer charges that these Saudi defendants “knowingly” provided material support and resources to Al Qaeda in the years leading up to 9/11.
The complaint claims that without Saudi Arabia’s assistance, Al Qaeda would not have been able to carry out the September 11th attacks: “Absent the sponsorship of Al Qaeda’s material sponsors and supporters, including the defendants named herein, Al Qaeda would not have possessed the capacity to conceive, plan and execute the September 11th attacks,” it states. “The conspiracy among the defendants to wage jihad against the United States, its nationals and allies, included the provision of material support and resources to defendant Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist organizations, persons, and entities.”
This new lawsuit tries to prove direct links between Saudi charitable organizations and Al Qaeda and reveal how the Saudi government supported Al Qaeda through the charities. The lawsuit indicates that “Between 1998 and 2000, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya, diverted more than $74 million to Al Qaeda members and loyalists affiliated with Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya bureaus. Throughout this time, the committee was under the supervision and control of Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz.”
The case is Underwriting Members of Lloyd’s Syndicate 3500 v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 11-00202, U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania.
Al Rajhi is ranked as the 4th largest Shariah-compliant financial institution in the world and the largest in Saudi Arabia. It’s controlling shareholders are believed to be the wealthiest non-royal citizens of Saudi Arabia, the Al Rajhi family. Ominously, the Al Rajhis are also considered to be among Saudi Arabia’s most active philanthropists.
Al Rajhi prides itself on “ethical” practices. It specifically prohibits transactions which involve “businesses such as alcoholic drinks, narcotics trafficking, tobacco or interest taking companies such as non-Islamic banks, insurance companies, and gambling houses.”
Violent jihad, of course, is not classified as “unethical” according to Shariah. In fact, it is considered a requirement to defend Islam.
The Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia & Herzegovina has been suspected of involvement in material support of Jihad for several years. According to Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project, back in 2002, the Bosnian government was prompted to investigate the organization for ties to terror:
The Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya (SJRC) has been alleged by UN officials to have been used as a cover by several Al Qaeda operatives, including two men who acted as directors of the charity. According to Lloyd’s legal claim, at the time the SJRC was under the control of Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, half-brother of King Abdullah and the long-standing Saudi Interior minister. The claim states: “Between 1998 and 2000, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the SJRC, diverted more than $74m to Al Qaeda members and loyalists affiliated with SJRC bureaus. Throughout this time, the Committee was under the supervision and control of Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz.”
According to the testimony of noted terrorism expert Jean-Charles Brisard before the before the US Senate in 2003, in June 1998, the CIA and Albanian authorities raided several houses and offices of members of an associate of the SJRC in Tirana, Albania. In July 1998, its Director Muhamed Hasan Mahmud, an Egyptian national, was arrested on charges of making false documents and arms possession. He was connected to a 1992 terrorist attack against the Egyptian Parliament. Several of its members and directors were later arrested in connection with the US Embassy bombing in Kenya and Tanzania of August 1998.
The Saudi Red Crescent Society has been implicated as having ties to SJRC. In a 1989 interview, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, co-founder of Al Qaedaand spiritual mentor to Osama bin Laden, stated that the Saudi Red Crescent provided monetary support for his mujahideen. In October 2001, Pakistan’s military regime ordered eighty-nine Arab and Muslim relief workers deported for possible links to Al Qaeda. Among the NGOs targeted were the Saudi Red Crescent. In November 2002, the US government named Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization. One of BIF’s leaders, Abu Hassan al Madani, received a letter on Saudi Red Crescent letterhead requesting weapons for Osama Bin Laden. At the bottom of the letter was a personal note to Madani from Bin Laden himself.
It should also be noted that Saudi national Yasin al-Qadi, who was designated a terrorist by the US government in October of 2002 for his material support for Al Qaeda, and who is under sanctions from the European Union, stated in a Chicago Tribune interview near the time of his designation that one of the chief recipients of his donations was the Saudi Red Crescent.
The National Commercial Bank (NCB) of Saudi Arabia, based in Jeddah, is the world’s 15th largest Shariah-compliant financial institution. The Saudi government owns a majority of the shares of the bank’s parent. NCB claims to be a leader in “Corporate Social Responsibility.” NCB has also won numerous awards from Shariah banking organizations over the years. As is becoming more and more common in the Shariah Finance/Banking industry, NCB declines to disclose the identities of its Shariah advisers on its web site. NCB’s former CEO was the late Khalid Bin Mahfouz, who sued Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of “Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It,” in a case that prompted the US Congress to pass the Speech Act in August of 2010, to protect the free expression of authors and journalists from foreign lawsuits designed to intimidate them.
More on the Lloyd’s suit available here: