There has long been evidence that wealthy Saudis provided support for Bin Laden, the son of a Saudi construction magnate, and al-Qaeda before the 2001 attacks. Saudi Arabia had worked closely with the United States to finance Islamic militants fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and al-Qaeda drew its members from militant fighters.
However, the extent and nature of Saudi involvement in al-Qaeda, and whether it extended to the planning and financing of the September 11 attacks, has long been a subject of dispute.
Moussaoui's testimony, if judged credible, provides new details of the extent and nature of that support in the pre-9/11 period. In more than 100 pages of testimony, filed in federal court in New York on Monday, he comes across as calm and largely coherent, though the plaintiffs' lawyers questioning him do not challenge his statements.
[Moussaoui] said in the deposition that he was directed in 1998 or 1999 by al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan to create a digital database of donors to the group.
Among those he said he recalled listing in the database were Prince Turki al-Faisal, then the Saudi intelligence chief; Prince Bandar Bin Sultan [a.k.a. "Bandar Bush"], the long-time Saudi ambassador to the US; Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent billionaire investor; and many of the country's leading clerics.
"Sheikh Osama wanted to keep a record who give money," he said in imperfect English, "who is to be listened to or who contributed to the jihad."
Moussaoui said he acted as a courier for Bin Laden, carrying personal messages to prominent Saudi princes and clerics.
Too bad our lickspittle opposition leaders won't use this to ridicule King Salman's best friend in Canada, our 'tough on terror' prime minister.