18:47 GMT +321 September 2019
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    In this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo, the twin towers of the World Trade Center burn behind the Empire State Building in New York.

    US Senate Passes Bill Allowing 9/11 Victims’ Families to Sue Saudi Arabia

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    The US Senate unanimously passed a bill allowing the families of people killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, US Senator Chuck Schumer said in a Twitter message on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The bill, called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, would allow families of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for its role in the attacks.

    "Today, [US Senator John Cornyn and] I are proud to announce we’re one step closer to justice for the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks," Schumer tweeted after the bill was passed.

    The Obama administration has expressed concern that the legislation could have unintended consequences for the legal doctrine known as "sovereign immunity," under which a state cannot be prosecuted in a civil or criminal case.

    The White House has indicated president Barack Obama would veto the measure.

    Last month, Saudi officials threatened to sell $570 billion in US debt they hold if the bill is passed.

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