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'Washington should be sued, not Riyadh'

RIYADH, Aug 17: A lawsuit against Islamic groups and three top Saudi royals by relatives of the victims of the September 11 attacks should instead be brought against Washington for training terrorists, newspapers here said Saturday, reports AFP.

"Many of those America is hunting now for terrorism graduated from American training camps," Al-Watan newspaper said in an editorial, in reference to US support for Muslim Mujahideen who fought the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

"America had trained terrorists at camps across American territory ... And it refused to extradite (Al-Qaeda leader) Osama bin Laden from Sudan in 1996," the paper added.

"So, the relatives of victims of September 11 attacks should file the lawsuit against the United States, and not against the Saudis," the paper said.

More than 600 relatives of victims who perished at the hand of suicide hijackers, most of whom were Saudis, filed a lawsuit seeking up to three trillion dollars in punitive damages for each of 14 counts from 99 organisations or individuals.

It also seeks 100 trillion dollars in damages from Sudan, where bin Laden, stripped of his Saudi nationality in 1994, developed Al-Qaeda into a terror machine.

Al-Madinah newspaper branded the case as political and financial blackmail.

"It is a case of open financial and political blackmail ... by skilled lawyers who are fabricating evidence in an environment that is hostile to Arab culture and values," said the daily.

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