'Saudi government may have funded 9/11 dry-run,' US report says

'Saudi government may have funded 9/11 dry-run,' US report says
The Saudi embassy in Washington might have funded a 'dry-run' of the 9/11 attacks, evidence submitted to a US court has claimed.
2 min read
10 September, 2017
Victims have accused Saudi Arabia of being linked to the attacks [Getty]
A report sumitted to a 9/11 US lawsuit has accused the Saudi embassy in Washington of funding al-Qaeda militants to carry out a dry-run of the 2001 attacks.

It alleges that two Saudis were paid by the embassy in Washington to carry out "a dry-run for the 9/11 attacks" two years before the actual hijackings took place, the New York Post reported.

The flight tickets used in the dry-run were allegedly paid for by the Saudi embassy, as families of the 1,400 killed in the 9/11 attacks try to find alleged links between Riyadh and the al-Qaeda militants.

The complaint submitted by the families claims that Saudi government officials and diplomats had a direct hand in the attacks in Washington and New York, along with another hijacked plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.

"We've long asserted that there were long-standing and close relationships between al-Qaeda and the religious components of the Saudi government," Sean Carter, lead attorney for the 9/11 families, said. "This is further evidence of that."

The report said that the men were living undercover in the US as students, when they were asked by embassy staff to simulate a hijacking of an airliner and test cockpit security.

This was the same tactic used by the 19 al-Qaeda hijackers - 15 whom were Saudi nationals - when they flew two planes into the World Trade Center towers and another into the Pentagon.

The complaint alleges that the two undercover militants - one of whom the New York Post said attempted to enter the US just before the 9/11 attacks were carried out - attended the same al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan as some of the hijackers.
It also claims that the men - described as "the kingdom's network of agents in the US" - were in contact with a hijacker pilot when they were based in Arizona, along with a senior Saudi al-Qaeda militant who is being detained in Guantanamo Bay.

FBI case files allege that during the 2009 dry-run, the men asked cabin crew technical questions about the aircraft and tried twice to enter the cockpit.

Alarmed pilots decided to make an emergency landing due to the intrusion into the cockpit and the two men were detained but later released.

Saudi Arabia has strongly denied the claims and filed a motion to dismiss the complaint by the families, which could soon head to a court.