The New York Times
May 30, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is supporting efforts by the Saudi royal family to defeat a long-running lawsuit seeking to hold it liable for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
[efoods]The Justice Department, in a brief filed Friday before the Supreme Court, said it did not believe the Saudis could be sued in American court over accusations brought by families of the Sept. 11 victims that the royal family had helped finance Al Qaeda. The department said it saw no need for the court to review lower court rulings that found in the Saudis’ favor in throwing out the lawsuit.
The government’s position comes less than a week before President Obama is scheduled to meet in Saudi Arabia with King Abdullah as part of a trip to the Middle East and Europe intended to reach out to the Muslim world.
Lawyers for the Saudi family said that they were heartened by the department’s brief and that it served to strengthen their hand before the court, which has not decided whether to hear the case.