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9-11 Victims' Families File $100 Trillion Lawsuit Against Arab Notables - 2002-08-15

Relatives of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks have filed a $100 trillion lawsuit against several Middle Eastern banks, Saudi princes and the government of Sudan.

They call themselves "Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism." They announced their legal action at the U.S. District Court in Washington. Deena Burnett, a mother of three small children, is the widow of one of the passengers who overpowered the hijackers of flight 93, which crashed in southern Pennsylvania.

"By filing this lawsuit this is our only source of retribution, our only source of action to help stop them [the terrorists]," she said. "And so we'll use the court system. But we're probably going to need your help. In the coming months we'll need letters to congressmen and senators to encourage the Senate Intelligence Committee to stand in our favor and help provide documents and information and records that will help us freeze the assets of the defendants named in this lawsuit."

The group, made up of about 500 relatives of the victims, is seeking more than $100 trillion in damages from eight Islamic charities, several Arab financiers, the bin Laden family's construction company, and three Saudi princes: Mohammed al-Faisal al Saud, Turki al-Faisal al-Saud, Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud. The plaintiffs say they will subject the sponsors of terror to the rule of law.

The September 11 attacks killed more than 3,000 people and destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Fifteen of the 19 alleged hijackers were Saudi nationals.

The group says those named in the lawsuit sponsored and financially supported the Taleban, Osama bin Laden, and the al-Qaida terrorist network.