A U.S. judge on Tuesday dismissed claims made by families of 9/11 victims that Saudi Arabia supported al Qaeda, saying the plaintiffs didn’t provide good enough evidence to overcome the country's sovereign immunity. Families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks filed damage claims against the Middle Eastern country, and attorneys for the plaintiffs said they will appeal Tuesday’s ruling, the Wall Street Journal reported.
"The allegations in the complaint alone do not provide this court with a basis to assert jurisdiction over defendants," U.S. District Judge George Daniels wrote in his ruling, Al Jazeera reported.
New evidence stemming from Zacarias Moussaoui, known as the “twentieth hijacker” of 9/11 who was not directly involved in the attacks because he was arrested weeks prior, was dismissed in the case, according to Deutsche Welle. The Saudi royal family was involved with al Qaeda during the 1990’s, Moussaoui said February in court, the Telegraph reported.
The 9/11 Commission, which was created to prepare an account of what happened on and leading up to 9/11, said no evidence existed that concluded Saudi Arabia helped fund the terrorist network. Of the 19 hijackers, 15 were Saudi Arabian. Nearly 3,000 people were killed during the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Attorneys for Saudi Arabia declined to comment to various media outlets Tuesday, but attorneys for the plaintiffs criticized the fact that the U.S. government continues to classify some evidence relating to 9/11.
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"Evidence central to these claims continues to be treated as classified," Sean Carter, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs, told Deutsche Welle. "The government's decision to continue to classify that material certainly factored into this outcome."
Tuesday was not the first time Saudi Arabia was dismissed in the lawsuit. A judge dismissed Saudi Arabia from the case in 2005 because of the country’s immunity, but an appeals court reversed that decision in 2013, citing extraordinary circumstances, according to Al Jazeera.