In Blow to Kingdom, Judge Rejects Saudi Effort to Escape 9/11 Suit

Discovery phase will focus on two Saudis in southern California accused of aiding hijackers who attacked Pentagon

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Flight 77 Hijacker Nawaf al-Hazmi

U.S. District Judge George Daniels has rejected Saudi Arabia’s motion to be removed as a defendant in a civil suit in which thousands of 9/11 family members, survivors and insurers allege Saudi government officials and agents supported the al Qaeda plot that killed 2,996 people, injured more than 6,000 others and caused billions of dollars in damage to businesses and property.

From a Saudi public relations perspective, the timing of the decision is particularly inopportune: Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is in the midst of an aggressive two-week tour of the United States aimed at rehabilitating the kingdom’s image. Continue reading

Cornyn Condemns Tactics Saudis Used Against 9/11 Justice Law

“This kind of conduct should gall every member of the Senate”

By Brian P. McGlinchey

In a high-profile hearing today, Senator John Cornyn condemned Saudi lobbyists for exploiting U.S. military veterans in their campaign to weaken a law enabling 9/11 family members and survivors to sue the kingdom for its alleged support of the attacks. Continue reading

The Saudi Agents Next Door: Americans Who Cashed in on Campaign to Stop 9/11 Trial

Saudi Arabia spent millions trying to keep 9/11 families and survivors from presenting evidence against the kingdom

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Mike Gibson of Community Strategies Inc

Last October, the Saudi government partnered with Qorvis MSLGROUP to launch a massive, nationwide lobbying effort aimed at undermining a new law that cleared the way for 9/11 families and survivors to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged support of al Qaeda and its hijackers.

Now, a disclosure filing with the Department of Justice gives an indication of the high cost of the effort, and helps shine a light on Americans all across the country hired to execute the kingdom’s campaign to keep evidence of its links to 9/11 out of court. Continue reading

NY Tea Party Leader Aided Saudi Drive to Change 9/11 Justice Law

Stephen Flanagan, founder of Long Island-based Conservative Society for Action, says he didn’t know it was a Saudi operation

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Stephen Flanagan

Stephen Flanagan, a Long Island Tea Party leader who chaired a 2010 Republican Senate campaign, used his organization’s platform to aid a Saudi-led drive to alter the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA)—but says he wasn’t told he was doing so on behalf of the kingdom accused of facilitating the 9/11 attacks.

Flanagan is the founder and executive director of Conservative Society for Action, and was the focus of a lengthy 2011 Politico profile on the Tea Party movement in New York. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE: Capitol Media Group Didn’t Tell Vets They Were Lobbying for Saudi Arabia

Army vet: Scott Wheeler “never told me Saudi Arabia was behind it, nor would I have agreed to do it had I known”

Other veterans, still convinced by flawed argument used to lobby against anti-terror law, at peace with Saudi sponsorship

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Scott Wheeler with Veterans on Capitol Hill (Facebook photo)

Veterans who were brought to Washington to lobby for changes to legislation that enabled 9/11 lawsuits against the government of Saudi Arabia say they didn’t know their trip had been organized and financed by the kingdom.

The veterans are among dozens recruited by conservative political consulting firm Capitol Media Group to lobby for changes to the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). Continue reading