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Thread: Insurers Sue Saudi Arabia Seeking 9/11 Reimbursements

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    Insurers Sue Saudi Arabia Seeking 9/11 Reimbursements

    Insurers sue Saudi Arabia seeking 9/11 reimbursements

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11252/1173372-100.stm

    Friday, September 09, 2011
    By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    A subsidiary of the British insurer Lloyd's of London Thursday sued the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, several of its government agencies and banks, and a handful of prominent individuals in U.S. District Court in Johnstown, saying they are liable for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    Lloyd's Syndicate 3500 and affiliates paid out $215 million in insurance claims stemming from the attacks, according to the complaint. They want the money back.

    The 154-page complaint summarizes scholarship on the roots of the al-Qaida organization, focusing on the financing it used to build a global network capable of carrying out actions.

    Al-Qaida needed "lavish sponsorship" from its supporters, who became participants in its "jihad against the United States, its nationals and allies," the complaint said.

    It noted that al-Qaida started out as a resistance organization against the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan, then adapted to the needs of Islamic fighters in Kosovo, Chechnya, India and the Philippines.

    Meanwhile Saudi political factions agreed to support modernization only if the government backed anti-Western efforts.

    U.S. investigators, it said, unearthed a list of al-Qaida's financial backers known as the "Golden Chain."

    "When Osama bin Laden formed al-Quida," the complaint said, "many of these financiers became champions of bin Laden's new mission to wage jihad globally."

    "[T]he September 11th Attacks were a direct, intended, and foreseeable product of" al-Qaida's "global jihad," it continued. Thus the financial backers "bear primary responsibility for the injuries resulting from the September 11th Attacks" and must pay the costs, it said.

    The Saudi embassy in Washington had no immediate response.

    Similar legal theories have failed in other courts. The complaint was filed in Johnstown because the federal court office there has responsibility for the Shanksville area, where one of four planes seized by the 19 al-Qaida terrorists on Sept. 11 crashed.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    New lawsuit alleges Saudis aided 9/11 attacks

    http://articles.philly.com/2011-09-0...ommercial-bank

    September 09, 2011|By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer

    Nearly 10 years to the day after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a London-based insurance syndicate Thursday filed a new lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia in U.S. District Court in Johnstown, Pa., alleging that the Saudis helped finance and provided logistical support to Islamist terror groups.

    Absent that support, the 9/11 attacks likely never would have happened, the lawsuit alleges.

    The suit, filed on behalf of Lloyd's Syndicate 3500 by the Center City-based law firm Cozen O'Connor, opens a new front in the long-running litigation over the 9/11 hijackings. An earlier lawsuit, also filed by Cozen O'Connor, has met with mixed success: A federal appeals court in Manhattan found that the Saudi government could not be sued under U.S. law, but a number of charitable agencies affiliated with the Saudi government and financial institutions remain as defendants in that case.

    Lawyers for the Saudi government have consistently denied that the Saudis or affiliated charities bear any responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.

    The suit filed Thursday tracks in its broad outlines the allegations made in the first complaint, filed in 2003, which claimed that the Saudi government sponsored Islamist charities that, in turn, provided money and logistical support to al-Qaeda as it transformed itself from a regional terrorist organization in the 1990s to a global threat.

    But this suit provides new details about the charities, alleging, among other things, that they supplied operational support and weapons for al-Qaeda fighters.

    It also offers a far more detailed narrative on the emergence of radical Islam in Saudi Arabia, tracing the shaky hold of the Saudi royal family on power in the face of increasingly dissatisfied and radicalized Muslim clerics.

    It cites as signal events the Saudi royal family's inability to put down a violent insurrection by radical Islamists in 1979 without the help of Pakistani military forces, and the widespread discontent among Islamists over the Saudis' decision to permit U.S. forces to be based in the country during the first Persian Gulf War.

    Both events undermined the power of the royal family, which then was forced to buy off radical Islamists by supporting their causes, the new lawsuit alleges.

    The suit, filed on behalf of an insurance syndicate that paid out $215 million in claims to various 9/11 victims on behalf of airline-security companies, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, and others, names as defendants not only the Saudi government, but also the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the Saudi Joint Committee Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya; National Commercial Bank, which has been linked by American officials to al-Qaeda money-laundering, and others.

    "Each of the defendants named herein was a knowing and material participant in al-Qaeda's conspiracy to wage jihad against the United States," the lawsuit claims.

    Cozen filed in 2003 its first lawsuit against the Saudi government, charities, and alleged terrorism financiers, citing findings by the U.S. government that the charities had established links with al-Qaeda operatives.

    In 2005, a federal district judge in Manhattan ruled that the Saudi government could not be sued under a U.S. law that bars lawsuits against foreign governments for acts of terrorism unless the State Department had designated the government a terrorism sponsor.

    Cozen and other law firms representing other plaintiffs in the litigation appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which upheld the lower-court judge.

    The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case in June 2009. Then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan had urged the court not to hear the case, saying the State Department had not designated Saudi Arabia as a terrorism sponsor. She added that the government's funding of Islamist charities was too far removed from terrorist groups to establish legal responsibility.

    The latest suit seeks to make a much more pointed connection between Islamist charities that were designated terrorism financiers and the Saudi government. It alleges, for example, that the Saudis appointed a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, to head offices of two charities, the Muslim World League and the International Islamic Relief Organization in the Philippines and Indonesia in 1989. Khalifa went on to help establish the Abu Sayyaf Group, later implicated in the beheading of an American and other killings.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Insurers try to revive 9/11 suit against Saudis

    http://online.wsj.com/article/AP666d...89826b7ba.html

    Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA — Insurers that paid out millions after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are trying to revive a lawsuit that accuses Saudi Arabia of funneling money to al-Qaida.

    A U.S. appeals court in New York had ruled in 2008 that the Saudi royal family and other defendants enjoy immunity from such lawsuits.

    Lawyer Stephen Cozen of Philadelphia argues, however, that the claims fall under an exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act that applies to certain damages, which other U.S. courts have since recognized.

    Cozen filed a new lawsuit Thursday in western Pennsylvania, where hijacked Flight 93 crashed. He said he believes the lawsuit stands a better chance in the federal circuit that covers Pennsylvania.

    His client, a Lloyd's of London insurance syndicate, hopes to recoup $215 million paid out on policies covering airlines, security companies and airport authorities. The money went to families who opted out of the U.S. victims' compensation fund, Cozen said

    The lawsuit alleges that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made charitable donations to Muslim groups that were then funneled to al-Qaida. The defendants include Prince Salman, the governor of Riyadh, the Saudi Joint Relief Commission and other charities, and Saudi banks and bank executives.

    "We have no doubt that the facts that we have asserted are all easily proven, or we wouldn't have asserted them in the first place," Cozen said.

    Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11 were Saudi citizens, the lawsuit notes.

    Lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in damages were filed by representatives, survivors and relatives of the victims against foreign governments, charities, financial institutions and individuals believed to have provided support to al-Qaida.

    The Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington did not immediately return a message seeking comment on the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Johnstown.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    The 9/11 legal battle

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/l...129544046.html

    9/9/2011

    If nothing else, the lawsuit filed Thursday by Cozen O’Connor, the Center City law firm, against the government of Saudi Arabia, various Saudi government linked charities and Prince Salman, a member of the Saudi royal family, suggests this litigation is not going away anytime soon.

    The firm filed its first suit against the Saudis in 2003 on behalf of insurers who covered commercial property at ground zero and who had lost upwards of $5 billion.

    The lawsuit hit a roadblock over the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which sharply restricts lawsuits by U.S. citizens against foreign governments for supporting terrorism. Cozens lawyers, their clients and other firms that also have sued the Saudis maintain that there is ample evidence to hold the Saudis accountable.

    They say the Saudis funded and controlled Islamists charities that in turn financed al Qaeda and other terrorist groups through the 1990s, providing a platform for their emergence as a global threat.

    The legal hurdle for the plaintiffs is high though. Under the FSIA, foreign governments can be sued for terrorism only if the state department has issued a finding that the government has sponsored terrorism. No finding, no viable lawsuit against a foreign sovereign. And there has been no finding where Saudi Arabia, an important U.S. ally, is concerned. In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an appeal by Cozen of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York finding that Saudi Arabia could not be sued under FISA.

    Though many of the other defendants remain in the original lawsuit, Cozen clearly is hoping to engineer an end around with its latest complaint. There is a new plaintiff, the somewhat obscurely named Lloyd’s Syndicate 3500, a London based reinsurer, and a new claim.

    The suit was filed in a new federal jurisdiction, Johnstown, near the crash site of flight United flight 93 in Shanksville.

    This time the insurer is seeking to be repaid for claims paid on behalf of airlines, aircraft manufacturers, airline security companies and others that were sued by victims of the 9/11 attacks. Cozen and others have always maintained that the FISA permitted lawsuits against foreign sovereigns for acts of terrorism, without a state department designation. If that argument doesn’t prevail this time, perhaps politics will change the terms of the debate.

    Members of congress have introduced legislation that would make clear that lawsuits such as the one that Cozen filed can go forward. Although the proposal hasn’t gained much traction so far, the politics around the issue could change if the discovery process generates more information suggesting Saudi government responsibility.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Who Funded 9/11 Attacks? Insurers, 9/11 Families Still Want Answers

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/funde...ry?id=14512391

    By SUSANNA KIM
    Sept. 15, 2011

    After the 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11 and six months after the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, questions still remain regarding who funded the attacks that led to thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in damages.

    The latest legal pursuit is that of an insurance syndicate of British insurer Lloyd's, which says the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its banks and various charities should be financially responsible for the $215 million it paid in insurance settlements to 9/11 victims' families.

    William Doyle's family is one of the families determined to find those who funded the attacks on 9/11. Doyle's son, Joseph, was killed in the north tower of the World Trade Center.

    William Doyle told ABC News there are "concrete facts" showing the majority of the hijackers' funding originated from Saudi Arabia. He said the government helped "shield" some of that evidence when the joint congressional committee investigating the attacks published a report in December 2002 and redacted about 28 pages.

    Doyle and others believe names of Saudi financiers and companies have been removed.

    "How could they hide under diplomatic immunity?" Doyle said of those he believes have been protected. "People don't get missiles to strike down helicopters by themselves. Someone is funding them. If someone is funding them, let it be known and cut out their funding."

    Former Florida Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, former co-chair of the congressional committee, has called on the government to reopen its 9/11 investigation.

    Thousands of individuals and companies are still pursuing a multi-district litigation suit in New York called "Re: Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001," which has dismissed about 127 defendants, according to the law firm Motley Rice, which represents 6,700 individuals for that case, including Doyle. There are about 24 remaining active defendants, says Motley Rice.

    Craig Unger, journalist and author of "House of Bush, House of Saud," said there is widespread reason to believe prominent Saudis were funding terrorists through Islamic charities. But the United States-Saudi relationship is "duplicitous from both sides of the fence," in part because Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil producer and exporter.

    "The relationship has soiled contradictions and we turn a blind eye to various aspects," he said. "The U.S. is so dependent on oil, you don't want to rock the boat."

    Despite unanimous dismissals of Lloyd's nine defendants in cases in New York, the insurer's suit, filed in a federal court in Pennsylvania on Sept. 8, claims "al Qaeda would not have possessed the capacity to conceive, plan and execute the September 11th attacks" without the funding.

    Sean Carter, an attorney with law firm Cozen O'Connor, whose client is the Lloyd's syndicate, said the lawsuit seeks recovery for amounts that were paid to settle claims brought against airlines and security companies related to Sept. 11.

    "The theme of the lawsuit is that the ultimate responsibility for a terrorist attack of this nature should rest with parties that were intentional actors rather than parties alleged to have been merely negligent," Carter said.

    The Pennsylvania lawsuit lists nine defendants, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Red Crescent Society, which is associated with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

    "Though this case has a different plaintiff, the suit is essentially based on the same claims around the tragic events of 9/11. However the court has dismissed most of the defendants," Lynne Bernabei of the law firm Bernabei & Wachtel, representing the Saudi Red Crescent Society, told ABC News.

    Bernabei said the lawsuit is another attempt to get around the rulings which have been mostly adverse to the plaintiffs. Her client was in part dismissed because it was not shown to have any involvement and because it is a sovereign defendant, or state entity, for which the requirements to sue were not met.

    Mark Hansen, whose law firm, Kelloff, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, represented the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the previous 9/11 suits, said the firm does not comment on pending litigation.

    While 2,983 families of 9/11 victims and 2,300 physically injured have received over $7 billion from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, 94 families decided not to participate in the fund. Those families received on average an estimated $5 million each, using figures from the report of Sheila Birnbaum, the 9/11 mediator. However, that information is confidential.

    Only one victim's family is still pursuing litigation against United Airlines and security company Huntleigh under the plaintiff's arguments they were negligent in failing to prevent the attacks. A hearing will take place Monday in New York with a trial date scheduled for November.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Lloyd's insurer sues Saudi Arabia for 'funding 9/11 attacks'

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...s-2356857.html

    By Cahal Milmo, Chief Reporter
    Monday, 19 September 2011

    A Lloyd's insurance syndicate has begun a landmark legal case against Saudi Arabia, accusing the kingdom of indirectly funding al-Qa'ida and demanding the repayment of £136m it paid out to victims of the 9/11 attacks.

    The Brighton-based Lloyd's 3500 syndicate, which paid $215m compensation to companies and individuals involved, alleges that the oil-rich Middle Eastern superpower bears primary responsibility for the atrocity because al-Qa'ida was supported by banks and charities acting as "agents and alter egos" for the Saudi state.

    The detailed case, which names a number of prominent Saudi charities and banks as well as a leading member of the al-Saud royal family, will cause embarrassment to the Saudi government, which has long denied claims that Osama bin Laden's organisation received official financial and practical support from his native country.

    Outlined in a 156-page document filed in western Pennsylvania, where United Airlines flight 93 crashed on 9/11, the claim suggests that the nine defendants "knowingly" provided resources, including funding, to al-Qa'ida in the years before the attack and encouraged anti-Western sentiment which increased support for the terror group.

    The legal claim states: "Absent the sponsorship of al-Qa'ida's material sponsors and supporters, including the defendants named therein, al-Qa'ida would not have possessed the capacity to conceive, plan and execute the 11 September attacks. The success of al-Qa'ida's agenda, including the 11 September attacks themselves, has been made possible by the lavish sponsorship al-Qa'ida has received from its material sponsors and supporters over more than a decade leading up to 11 September 2001."

    The Lloyd's syndicate is known as a "run-off", meaning that it does not accept new premiums on the Lloyd's of London insurance market and instead deals with historic claims. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, its members settled a raft of multimillion-pound claims from affected businesses, including airlines, airports and security companies, as well as injured individuals and relatives of those killed.

    Its complaint, which quotes heavily from US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks detailing investigations by the US authorities into al-Qa'ida, attempts to establish funding links between some Saudi charities, and the terror group, and implicate the Saudi government in that funding through its support of the charities.

    The case singles out the activities of a charity, the Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya (SJRC), which was alleged by UN officials to have been used as a cover by several al-Qa'ida operatives, including two men who acted as directors of the charity. It is alleged that at the time the SJRC was under the control of Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, half-brother of King Abdullah and the long-standing Saudi Interior minister. The claim states: "Between 1998 and 2000, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the SJRC, diverted more than $74m to al-Qa'ida members and loyalists affiliated with SJRC bureaus. Throughout this time, the Committee was under the supervision and control of Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz."

    The Saudi embassies in London and Washington did not respond to requests from The Independent for a response to the allegations in the claim. The 9/11 Commission, America's official report on the attacks, found that there was no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi officials individually funded al-Qa'ida.

    Diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks showed that American officials remained concerned that the Saudi authorities were not doing enough to stop money being passed to the terror group by Saudi citizens.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Lloyd's insurers drop 9/11-related claims lawsuit

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...tworkHeadlines

    By Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
    Monday, September 19, 2011
    Last updated: 2:42 pm

    Without explanation, a group of insurers today dropped its lawsuit against Saudi Arabia and several Saudi organizations claiming they should cover the $215 million the group has paid out in claims related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Stephen Cozen, a Philadelphia lawyer representing Lloyd`s Syndicate 3500, filed a notice today that the group is voluntarily dismissing its lawsuit. Cozen, by email, refused to discuss the reasons for dropping the case.

    Cozen previously said his group filed the lawsuit to hold terrorism sponsors accountable.

    Lloyd`s Syndicate 3500, part of the company more commonly known as Lloyd`s of London, filed the lawsuit on Sept. 8. The group contends that Saudi Arabia and the other defendants knowingly provided material support and resources to al-Qaida in the years preceding the terrorist attacks.

    The defendants included the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya, Saudi Red Crescent Society, the Saudi-based National Commerce Bank, Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Co. and three Saudi citizens connected to the organizations.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Attorney drops suit against Saudi Arabia, others

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11262/1175958-100.stm

    Monday, September 19, 2011
    By Rich Lord , Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    A Philadelphia attorney who this month sued Saudi Arabia and several individuals and institutions from the Middle Eastern kingdom, blaming them for making possible the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, withdrew the lawsuit today.

    Stephen A. Cozen's motion to voluntarily dismiss his complaint provides no indication of the reason for the move. By dismissing without prejudice, the motion seeks to close the case without precluding its renewal. Typically, when a case is settled, it is dismissed with prejudice.

    Mr. Cozen was not immediately available for comment.

    He had sued on behalf of a subsidiary of the British insurer Lloyd's of London, which said it paid out $215 million in relation to the attacks in U.S. District Court in Johnstown, not far from the Flight 93 crash site in Stonycreek, Somerset County.

    The 154-page suit mirrored another that failed in federal court in New York.

    The suit alleged that the defendants had long aided al-Qaida, knowing that the result would be a catastrophic attack against Western interests.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Insurers drop 9/11 suit against Saudi Arabia

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...tworkHeadlines

    By Brian Bowling, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Less than two weeks after filing a federal lawsuit in Johnstown, a London-based group of insurers has dropped its claim that Saudi Arabia and several Saudi organizations should be held responsible for insurance claims related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Lloyd's Syndicate 3500, part of the company more commonly known as Lloyd's of London, filed a notice on Monday that it was voluntarily dismissing its lawsuit. The dismissal is "without prejudice," which means the group can refile the lawsuit.

    The defendants included the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya, Saudi Red Crescent Society, the Saudi-based National Commerce Bank, Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Co. and three Saudi citizens connected to the organizations.

    The notice filed by Stephen Cozen, a Philadelphia lawyer representing the group, doesn't provide a reason for the dismissal. Cozen, in an e-mail, declined comment.

    A spokesman for the Saudi Arabia embassy in Washington couldn't be reached for comment.

    Rhonda Wasserman, a University of Pittsburgh law professor, said the voluntary dismissal is a mystery because it doesn't seem to fit any of the usual reasons for dropping a lawsuit.

    A voluntary dismissal coming shortly after the initial filing usually means that the plaintiffs have decided another court would be more friendly than the one where they filed, she said.

    "They realize that they don't want to be there," Wasserman said.

    But Cozen said Sept. 8 that Lloyd's Syndicate 3500 had decided to file the lawsuit in Western Pennsylvania instead of New York City because it believes the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would be more sympathetic to the lawsuit than the 2nd Circuit, whose jurisdiction includes New York. The 2nd Circuit ruled in 2008 that Saudi Arabia was immune from a lawsuit brought against it by the families of the 9/11 victims in New York federal court.

    A dismissal could mean the defendants already have settled with the plaintiffs, but that's unlikely given the type of dismissal, Wasserman said.

    "If it were a settlement, it would most likely be filed 'with prejudice,' " she said.

    Plaintiffs sometimes dismiss lawsuits because they learn new evidence that convinces them the case won't succeed, but "that seems unlikely given how recently they filed," she said.

    Cozen said previously that the plaintiffs have been researching the law for years and have been waiting for other lawsuits to settle before filing this one.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Terrorism suit dropped against Saudi Arabia

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11263/1176024-56.stm

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    A Philadelphia attorney who this month sued Saudi Arabia and several individuals and institutions from the Middle Eastern kingdom, blaming them for making possible the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, withdrew the lawsuit Monday.

    Stephen A. Cozen's motion to voluntarily dismiss his complaint provides no indication of the reason for the move. By dismissing without prejudice, the motion seeks to close the case without precluding its renewal. Typically, when a case is settled, it is dismissed with prejudice.

    Mr. Cozen declined comment.

    He had sued on behalf of a subsidiary of the British insurer Lloyd's of London, which said it paid out $215 million in relation to the attacks. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Johnstown, not far from the Flight 93 crash site in Stonycreek, Somerset County.

    The 154-page complaint alleged that the defendants had long funded al-Qaida, knowing that the result would be a catastrophic attack against Western interests. The suit mirrored another that failed in federal court in New York and, subsequently, in appeals courts.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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