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Moussaoui claims Saudi royals 'funded 9/11 attacks'

image copyrightReuters
image captionZacarias Moussaoui has been in prison for eight years

Al-Qaeda plotter Zacarias Moussaoui has claimed members of the Saudi royal family helped fund the 9/11 attacks.

Moussaoui, imprisoned in Colorado for his role in the attacks, gave testimony in October to lawyers for 9/11 victims suing the country.

His statement came to light when it was filed in court this week in response to a Saudi bid to drop the lawsuit.

Saudi Arabia has rejected the accusation from a "deranged criminal" with no credibility.

They have made several attempts for the lawsuit to be dropped.

In a rare interview for an inmate at a high security "supermax" prison, Moussaoui said "extremely famous" Saudi officials, including Prince Turki al-Faisal Al Saud, a former Saudi intelligence chief, were funding al-Qaeda from the late 1990s.

He also claimed to have met a Saudi official in Afghanistan who worked in the US embassy.

image copyrightAP
image captionNearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks

The two men were later supposed to travel to Washington to find a location "suitable to launch a stinger [missile] attack" on Air Force One, Moussaoui said.

His claims, made under oath, have not been verified.

Moussaoui was arrested weeks before the 9/11 attacks on immigrations charges and was in prison at the time of the attacks. He had taken flying lessons in Minnesota and had been wired money by an al-Qaeda affiliate.

In court at his sentencing, Moussaoui said he had been part of a grandiose plot to fly a Boeing 747 into the White House.

But testimony from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - also in US custody - was used by Moussaoui's defence lawyers to undercut his claims during trial.

Families of 9/11 victims allege that Saudi Arabia and a government-affiliated charity knowingly provided funding and other material support to al-Qaeda that helped it carry out the attacks.

Plaintiffs include families of the nearly 3,000 people killed, as well as insurers that covered losses suffered by building owners and businesses.

Related Topics

  • United States
  • al-Qaeda
  • Saudi Arabia

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