Evidence filed in a lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia over its alleged involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks of 2001 suggests the Saudi embassy in Washington may have helped Al Qaeda terrorists prepare for the attacks on the World Trade Center that killed nearly 3,000 people.
According to a report in the New York Post, briefs filed on behalf of 1,400 relatives of victims of the attacks provide evidence that the Saudi government, through its embassy in Washington DC, paid two Saudi nationals to fly from Phoenix, Arizona to Washington.
The court brief claims the trip was a “dry run” for the attack, allowing the two Saudi men to test flight deck security and assess the feasibility of the plot to hijack aircraft and fly them into the World Trade Center.
This latest evidence, the plaintiffs claim, is only the latest proof for a relationship they say has been well-known for years.
"We've long asserted that there were longstanding and close relationships between Al Qaeda and the religious components of the Saudi government," said attorney Sean Carter, who heads the legal team suing Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi government has long denied involvement in the 9/11 attacks or support for the Al Qaeda terrorist organization.
Last year, Congress passed legislation opening the door to lawsuits against Saudi Arabia, prompted in part by evidence collected over the past 15 years, suggesting possible ties between the Saudi embassy and the 9/11 attackers.
British media reported in 2016 that evidence uncovered in 2002 links the Saudi Arabian government with the 9/11 attacks.
American authorities discovered the flight certificate of would-be hijacker Ghassan Al-Shrabi in an envelope from the Saudi embassy to Washington during the latter's 2002 arrest in Pakistan, officials revealed at the time.
Details about the certificate and other documents were quietly released by officials in 2015, in a memo entitled Document 17 from back in 2003.
Congress in July released 28 previously secret pages of the report detailing suspicious Saudi ties to the 9/11 hijackers, but it failed to include a smoking gun definitively linking the kingdom to the terrorist attacks.