Thursday, February 05, 2015

saudi princes, tangled webs, and public trust


telegraph |  Senior members of the Saudi royal family were major al-Qaeda donors and were intimately involved with Osama bin Laden's terror network in the 1990s, one of the group's former members has testified to a New York court. 

Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called "twentieth hijacker" who had taken flying lessons but was arrested weeks before the September 11 attacks, made the claims in a long-running lawsuit alleging Saudi Arabian involvement in the plot to bring down the World Trade Centre.
Moussaoui, a 46-year-old French national who was diagnosed with delusional paranoid schizophrenia but declared mentally fit to stand trial in 2006, told lawyers that he had been ordered by bin Laden to compile a database of influential supporters.
"Shaykh Osama wanted to keep a record who give money ... who is to be listened to or who contribute to – to the jihad," he said in broken English, according to the testimony that was first reported by the New York Times and has been seen by The Telegraph.
Among those listed were Prince Turki al-Faisal, then the Saudi intelligence chief; Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, the longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States and Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent billionaire investor.
Moussaoui claimed he was sent on a visit to Saudi Arabia on a private plane when he met both Prince Turki and Prince Bandar and hand-delivered a letter from bin Laden. Prince Turki allegedly then gave Moussaoui two letters in return.