The US Senate approved legislation that would allow September 11 victims and their relatives to sue Saudi Arabia over its possible role in the 2001 attacks, a bill which could trigger a diplomatic firestorm.
Senators unanimously approved the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act which now heads to the House of Representatives, where Speaker Paul Ryan has voiced reservations.
The White House has repeatedly stated that President Barack Obama, who visited the kingdom in April in a bid to soothe strained ties, opposes the law because it would essentially waive the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi citizens. But no official Saudi complicity in the Al-Qaeda attacks has been proven, and the kingdom has never been formally implicated.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.