A former al-Qaida member who helped plot the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States has testified that the Saudi royal family gave money and other help to the terrorist group.
Zacarias Moussaoui gave his testimony to lawyers for victims of the families killed when planes struck the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon near Washington, and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania apparently on its way to another U.S. government building.
Moussaoui said some "extremely famous" Saudi officials helped al-Qaida, including former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal.
Moussaoui also said he personally met in Afghanistan with a diplomat from the Saudi Embassy in Washington and that they had talked about a plot to shoot down the U.S. president's plane, Air Force One.
The Saudi Embassy in the U.S. capital said Wednesday Moussaoui is a "deranged criminal" whose own lawyers called him "mentally incompetent."
The Embassy said the September 11 attacks were the most investigated crime in history and that there was no evidence of official Saudi involvement.
Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison in the U.S. for his part in the terror strikes.