U.S. wants testimony from a man in Sweden about 9/11

Photo: Michael Foran, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WTC_smoking_on_9-11.jpeg

An American court has executed a request for testimony in Sweden by a Swedish resident in connection with the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. It is argued that the man provided assistance to two of the hijackers, including, inter alia, transportation, finances and obtaining flight lessons, and he will testify as a witness in a civil court matter against, inter alia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The terror attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 radically changed world politics for years to come. 2 977 persons were killed when 19 hijackers from the terror network Al Qaeda seized control of four commercial passenger aircraft and flew two of the planes in to the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane in to the Pentagon building in Virginia outside Washington D.C., and crashed another plane in a field in Pennsylvania.

Several American law firms represent estate representatives and surviving family members in a civil law suit against, inter alia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which they believe is responsible for the attacks.

In May last year, a judge at a federal court in New York, where the case is pending, requested legal assistance from the Swedish Justice Department to arrange for testimony under oath by a Swedish resident. The man, who is originally a Yemeni in his 40s, is believed to have important information about possible links between Saudi Arabia and the terrorist attacks.

The American request to Sweden for legal assistance.

Assisted terrorists with flight training

Pursuant to the request, which Doku has read, the man lived in California prior to the 9/11 attacks. He is said to have assisted two of the Al Qaeda hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar, in several ways after their arrival to the United States: education in English, transportation, lodging, finances, registration for flight training and assimilation into the American society.

Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar were two of the hijackers on American Airlines flight 77 that crashed inte the Pentagon.

According to the request, the man personally knew two Saudi government officials who then lived in the United States, one of them a Saudi diplomat who also served as Imam at a mosque outside Los Angeles. It is alleged that the two Saudis established a supporting network for al-Hazmi and al-Midhar and instructed the man to help the two terrorists to settle in the United States.

Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, two of the hijackers.

Further to the American National Commission’s report on the terrorist attacks (Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, published in 2004), the man is mentioned as a ”key associate” to the future hijackers al-Hamzi and al-Midhar. The report discloses that he was detained after September 11, first as a material witness, then on immigration charges. He was deported to Yemen in 2004 after the US Attorney in California declined to prosecute him on charges arising out of his alleged jailhouse admissions (concerning his prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks).

Swedish Citizenship was denied

According to the said request for legal assistance by the federal court in New York, the man shall not to be questionned as suspect for any crime related to the September 11 attacks but as a witness in relation to the civil law suit against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a number of individuals.

Swedish authorities have accepted the request by the American court. A hearing for the testimony was scheduled at the beginning of March this year but was cancelled since the man had not validly been served the witness summons. The hearing is now postponed until this autumn.

Further to documents requested by Doku from the Swedish Migration Agency, the man applied for permanent residence permit in Sweden for the first time in June 2011. Three years later he was granted a one year residence and working permit. Thereafter, he has applied twice for Swedish citizenship in 2016 and 2017 but the applications were refused.

Björn Tude is local legal counsel in Sweden for the American plaintiffs. He declines answering any questions relating to the case.

– I can not and will not say anything now or later, he says.

The man’s Swedish legal counsel, Roba Azzam, says that the man ”due to the nature of the matter” declines to give his opinion about the requested testimony and his thoughts on the proceedings in Sweden. He stresses that he is not a suspect of any crime and that he is requested to be heard only as a witness in the pending civil law suit in the United States.

The counsel also says that the man has previously testified in the United States in relation to the matter, which resulted in reprisals and inhuman treatment of him, and he wishes those experiences not to revive and that his privacy shall be respected despite the pending law suit. The man will, however, as stated by his counsel, just as before be law-abiding and he will co-operate with the authorities to the extent required.

MAGNUS SANDELIN

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