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Saudi Arabia Threatens To Sell Off All Its Held U.S. Assets If Blamed For 9-11 Attacks

According to the New York Times, the Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel-al-Jubeir, delivered a message from the Saudi King that Congress had better reconsider passing a new law under consideration in the Senate, which would allow the kingdom to be held responsible for their role in the 9/11 terror attacks.

Should America be worried? If they are held responsible, the Saudis threaten to sell off all U.S. assets – and in a hurry – including some 750 billion dollars in U.S. national debt – almost 4 percent of the total U.S. debt. Saudi Arabia is the third-largest holder of U.S. debt instruments.

If they flood the market, it would sharply increase the interest rates the U.S would have to pay on its new bond selling activities – new debt. President Obama and his administration have lobbied against the bill. According to the bill, immunity from civil suits granted to foreign nations will not apply if that nation is found responsible for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil.

If the bill is passed, it would clear a path for further investigations into the Saudi’s role by Sept. 11 lawsuits. Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate committee in February that the bill could expose the United States of America to lawsuits from other nations interested in the U.S. role in attacks in other nations – like Libya.

Yet, Edwin M. Truman, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, noted that the Saudi currency, the riyal, is pegged to the dollar. Truman stated, “The only way they could punish us is by punishing themselves."

Karl Denninger, who runs the website “The Market Ticker," said “Go ahead, Mr. King; we’re far bigger than you are and you’ll be the one that gets blown up economically, not us. Never mind that you seem to enjoy our fighter aircraft, parts and other military hardware. It would be a damn shame if you couldn’t buy any more parts for those things nor would we provide any more assistance with their maintenance and upkeep, wouldn’t it?”

Denninger added that the U.S. is nearly energy independent and a cut off of Saudi oil would not be a threat.

Photo: 5 Pillar Suk

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