Saudi Arabia has reportedly told the Obama administration and
congressional leaders that it will sell billions of dollars in
U.S. financial assets if Congress passes a bill to make the
Saudi government legally responsible for any role in the 9/11
The administration has tried to stop Congress from passing the
legislation, a bipartisan Senate bill, since Saudi Foreign
Minister Adel al-Jubeir last month told Washington lawmakers his
country’s position, according to The New York Times.
Al-Jubeir purportedly informed the lawmakers during a trip to
Washington that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell as much as
$750 billion in Treasury securities and other American financial
assets on the world market, fearing the legislation could become
law and U.S. courts would then freeze the assets.
The revelations about the Saudis’ ultimatum come several days
after reports that President Obama will soon decide whether to
declassify 28 pages of sealed documents suspected of showing a
Saudi connection to the deadly 9/11 terror attacks.
Former Florida Democratic Sen. Bob Graham told Fox News on
Tuesday that the White House told him a decision on whether to
declassify the documents would be made within 60 days.
Graham helped lead a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks.
The Bush and Obama administrations have refused to unseal the
documents, arguing their release would jeopardize national
Critics claim the reluctance is a calculated move to hide Saudi
Arabia’s involvement in the al Qaeda terror attack that killed
almost 3,000 people on U.S. soil on Sept. 11, 2001.
Obama had come under renewed pressure to release the documents
ahead of a scheduled trip next week to Saudi Arabia for a summit
of Persian Gulf leaders.
Economists are purportedly skeptical about the Saudis making
good on their vow to sell the assets, considering such a move
would be difficult to execute and could severely hurt that
country’s economy, which depends on the U.S. dollar.
The separate 9/11 Commission essentially found no evidence that
the Saudi Arabia government supported the attacks.
However, the commission’s narrowly worded finding about having
“no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or
senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization” has
skeptic suggesting that lesser officials government operatives
or were involved.