9/11 victims might be able to sue Saudi Arabia

(Photo by Anthony Correia/Getty Images)
Caption
(Photo by Anthony Correia/Getty Images)

Victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks may soon be able to sue Saudi Arabia over the country's alleged roles in the incidents.

The House is expected to vote on a bill — called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act — that would prevent countries accused of having ties to terrorism from invoking sovereign immunity in court.

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Currently, a law allows foreign countries to be sued if they are officially considered a state sponsor of terrorism, but Saudi Arabia doesn't have that designation.

This new bill passed the Senate in May, but the White House strongly urged against it and indicated President Barack Obama won't sign it if it makes it to his desk.

The concern is that it could damage the U.S.' relationship with Saudi Arabia and create a dangerous situation for American officials overseas.

If the legislation is approved, other countries could pass similar legislation, opening up the potential for American officials to be sued in a foreign court.

Saudi Arabia is also threatening to sell $750 billion in U.S. treasury securities if the bill passes, which could be bad news for the economy.

But supporters say the threat is just a bluff and that the bill would mean Saudi Arabia's alleged role in the 9/11 attacks could be examined further.

There's no proof any Saudi Arabian official was involved, but it's long been speculated that the attackers were supported by the government.