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Obama Says Congress Made 'Mistake' With Veto Of 9/11 Lawsuits Bill

  • RFE/RL

U.S. President Barack Obama says the new legislation sets a "dangerous precedent."

U.S. President Barack Obama says the new legislation sets a "dangerous precedent."

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Obama has said Congress made a "mistake" by overriding his veto and pushing through a bill that allows legal action against Saudi Arabia over the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Obama told CNN on September 28 that the bill sets a "dangerous precedent" that will encourage other countries to sue the United States and its military over what they see as abuses and damages from U.S. war actions.

The vote of support from more than two-thirds of members in Congress's two chambers means the bill becomes law, despite Obama's veto.

The Justice against Sponsors of Terrorism legislation opens the door for relatives of victims to sue any member of the Saudi government suspected of playing a role in the 9/11 attacks.

Officials in Saudi Arabia have reportedly threatened to sell the kingdom's assets in the United States if such legislation becomes law.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, but the kingdom, a U.S. ally, has denied any role in the attacks, which left nearly 3,000 people dead.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, the BBC, and CNN
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