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Former US attorney general slams JASTA law

Michael Mukasey aid there was no evidence linking the Saudi government in any way to the 9/11 attacks

Published: Updated:

Former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey has slammed the congress override of President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) bill.

“JASTA would hurt the United States a lot more than it helps any of the families of 9/11 victims,” Mukasey said in comments to Fox News on Wednesday.

If passed, JASTA would allow US citizens to sue Saudi Arabia over the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Fifteen out of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Riyadh has always dismissed suspicions that it backed the attackers, who killed nearly 3,000 people under the banner of militant group al-Qaeda.

Riyadh is one of Washington's longest-standing and most important allies in the Middle East and part of a US-led coalition fighting ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria.

The Saudi government lobbied strongly against JASTA, which stands for the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, in the run-up to the vote, and warned it would undermine the principle of sovereign immunity.

Mukasey said there was no evidence linking the Saudi government in any way to the 9/11 attacks.

“We have had investigations by our intelligence agencies, by Congress, and by the 9/11 Commission. They found no evidence of Saudi government involvement or the involvement of any senior Saudi officials. And so, there is no reason for this (bill),” he said.

*A full version of this article was first published on AlArabiya.net.