Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Burnett v. Al Baraka Investment and Development Corp.

November 14, 2003

THOMAS BURNETT, SR., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
AL BARAKA INVESTMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James Robertson United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This memorandum addresses the second group of dispositive motions to be considered in this action brought by victims and representatives of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. My opinion on the first group of motions is reported as Burnett v. Al Baraka Invest. & Devel. Corp., 274 F.Supp.2d 86 (D.D.C. 2003) ("Burnett I"). The motions now before me, filed by Prince Turki Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud ("Prince Turki") and Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud ("Prince Sultan"), seek dismissal on grounds, inter alia, of lack of subject matter jurisdiction and lack of personal jurisdiction. The motions have been fully briefed. Oral argument was presented on October 17, 2003.

It is undisputed that, at all times relevant to this action, Prince Turki was the Director of Saudi Arabia's Department of General Intelligence ("DGI" or"Istakhbarat").*fn1

It is also undisputed that, at all times relevant to this lawsuit, Prince Sultan was Saudi Arabia's third-ranking government official. He was -- and is -- minister of defense and aviation, inspector general of the armed forces, chairman ex officio of Saudi Arabian Airlines, chairman of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs ("Supreme Council"), and head of the Special Committee of the Council of Ministers ("Special Committee"). The Supreme Council carries out the foreign policies of Saudi Arabia as they relate to Islamic Affairs conducted abroad, including making recommendations to the Council of Ministers about requests for assistance from Islamic organizations based outside of Saudi Arabia. The Special Committee exercises discretion over disbursements, which have included grants to Islamic charitable organizations, in furtherance of the national and foreign policy of Saudi Arabia, as determined by the Council of Ministers.

The Third Amended Complaint ("3AC") makes the following allegations as to Prince Turki:

ù that"Osama bin Laden offered [him] the engineering equipment available from his family's construction company and suggested bolstering Saudi forces with Saudi militants who he was willing to recruit." Complaint, at ¶¶ 340-41.

ù that, as head of DGI, he"was in a position to know the threat posed by bin Laden, al Qaeda, the Taliban." Id., at ¶ 343.

ù that he "had an ongoing relationship with Osama bin Laden from the time they first met in Islamabad, Pakistan," and personally met with bin Laden "at least five times... during the mid-eighties to mid-nineties." Id., at ¶¶ 341, 344.

ù that, in 1995, while under his direction, Istakhbarat "decided to give massive financial and material support to the Taliban." Id., at ¶ 344.

ù that he is "implicate[d]... as the facilitator of [money transfers from wealthy Saudis] in support of the Taliban, al Qaeda, and international terrorism" and that "Istakhbarat served as a facilitator of Osama bin Laden's network of charities, foundations, and other funding sources." Id., at ¶¶ 346, 350.

ù that, in July 1998, he attended a meeting in Kandahar, Afghanistan, which led to an agreement that "Osama bin Laden and his followers would not use the infrastructure in Afghanistan to subvert the royal families' control of Saudi government and in return, the Saudis would make sure that no demands for the extradition of terrorist individuals, such as Osama bin Laden, and/or for the closure of terrorist facilities and camps." And that,"[a]fter the meeting, 400 new pick up trucks arrived in Kandahar for the Taliban, still bearing Dubai license plates." Id., at ¶¶ 344, 348.

ù that, in 1998 and 1999, he met with the Taliban, and that he "promised to provide oil and generous financial assistance" to the Taliban." Id.

ù that he"was instrumental in arranging a meeting in Kandahar between Iraqi senior intelligence operative [sic], the Ambassador to Turkey Faruq al-Hijazi, and Osama bin Laden, in December of 1998." Id., at ¶ 349.

ù that he is"implicated" in the funneling of money"from the Saudi-based company, Mushayt for Trading Establishment... through Spanish corporations to entities and individuals known to be associated with the al Qaeda terrorist organization in Europe." Id., at ¶¶ 345, 376.

As to Prince Sultan, the 3AC alleges:

ù that he met with"Osama bin Laden[, who] offered the engineering equipment available from his family's construction company and suggested bolstering Saudi forces with Saudi militants who he was willing to recruit." Id., at ¶ 340.

ù that he "took radical stands against western countries and publically supported and funded several Islamic charities that were sponsoring Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda operations," including the International Islamic Relief Organization ("IIRO"), the Muslim World League ("MWL"), the World Assembly of Muslim Youth ("WAMY") and Al- Haramain Islamic Foundation ("Al-Haramain"). Id., at ¶ 353.

ù that he"has been involved in the sponsorship of international terrorism through the IIRO and other Saudi-funded charities." Id., at ¶ 354.

ù that"[a] Saudi embassy press release announced in April 2001 that'Prince Sultan affirms [the] Kingdom's Support' for the Palestinian Intifada, to the tune of $40 million already disbursed to'the families of those martyred' and other'worthies.'" Id., at ¶ 355.

ù that, having knowledge of "the role of Saudi charitable entities... in financing the al Qaeda terrorist organization," he "personally funded [the Islamic charities identified in ¶ 353]" with donations amounting to at least $6,000,000. Id., at ¶¶ 358-59.

ù that,"[s]ince the IIRO's creation in 1978, [he] participated by donations and various gifts to the charity. In 1994 alone, he donated $266,652 to the [IIRO]. Since 1994, the amount funneled by [him] into IIRO is reported to be $2,399,868. [His] role in directly contributing to and in the oversight of IIRO evidences his material sponsorship, aiding and abetting of international terrorism. [He] maintains close relations with the IIRO organization headquarters and knew or should have known these assets were being diverted to al Qaeda." Id., at ¶ 360.
ù that"[he] is also a large financial contributor of the [MWL]. [He] donated during a television fundraising campaign for MWL: The total collection made as a result of the television campaign was SR 45,000,000, with the Emir of Riyadh, Prince Sultan, donating a million Saudi Riyals ($533,304)." Id., at ¶ 361.
ù that"[he] is also a regular donator to the [WAMY].... WAMY has been officially identified as a'suspected terrorist organization' by the FBI since 1996 and has been the subject of numerous governmental investigations for terrorist activities." Id., at ¶ 362.
รน that,"[a]t best, [he] was grossly negligent in the oversight and administration of charitable funds, knowing they would be used to sponsor international terrorism, but turning a blind eye. At ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.