Controversial New Bill Passed on Anniversary of 9/11
Friday, the House of Representatives passed a bill allowing families of victims of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, because their government is accused of supporting Al Qaeda. This bill, known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, went to the President just two days before the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. A US law was passed in 1976 giving foreign governments immunity from prosecution in US courts. There were exceptions for countries supporting terrorism, but that did not include Saudi Arabia. This new law would widen the exceptions for foreign prosecution. Opponents, including the current administration, worry that this bill could affect already shaky relations with Saudi Arabia. Proponents state that if a court can prove that they “were complicit in 9/11, they should be held accountable.” Saudi Arabia said that if the bill passes, they will sell all of their US assets.