A federal appeals court on Thursday reinstated Saudi Arabia as a defendant in lawsuits claiming it provided support to al-Qaida before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said restoring Saudi Arabia was necessary to be consistent with a ruling by a different 2nd Circuit panel. The 2nd Circuit had previously ruled that Saudi Arabia was protected by sovereign immunity.
An attorney representing Saudi Arabia said the ruling is “contrary to settled law” and will only result in a lower court throwing the case out for other reasons.
The lawsuits were brought in 2002 against groups accused of aiding al-Qaida. Lawyers argued that the Sept. 11 attacks had been planned for years by Islamic terrorists funded by Saudi Arabia.