Judge rejects bid

NEW YORK – A US judge on Wednesday rejected Saudi Arabia’s bid to dismiss lawsuits claiming that it helped plan the September 11, 2001, attacks and should pay billions of dollars in damages to victims.

US District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said the plaintiffs’ allegations “narrowly articulate a reasonable basis” for him to assert jurisdiction over Saudi Arabia under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), a 2016 federal law.

The Saudi Government has long denied involvement in the attacks in which hijacked airplanes crashed into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon outside Washington, DC, and a Pennsylvania field. As many as 3000 people died.

Lawyers for Saudi Arabia did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the decision. At a Saudi stock market event in New York, asked whether the court decision would have a negative impact on Saudi investment in the US, Capital Market Authority chairperson Mohammed A ElKuwaiz declined to comment, saying he had not seen the news.

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