The New York port authority has decided to join a lawsuit charging Saudi Arabia with providing financial assistance to the Osama bin Laden-led Al Qaeda.
The port authority owns the World Trade Centre site and lost 84 of its employees in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a statement yesterday that it had an obligation 'to preserve its legal options at this time', given that the three-year statute of limitations on legal action expires today -- the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman said the bi-state agency was joining a seven-billion-dollar lawsuit filed last week in US District Court in Manhattan by the Cantor Fitzgerald investment firm, which lost more than 650 workers in the attacks.
The suit accuses the Saudi government of providing 'funding and material support and substantial assistance' to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
"We have a responsibility to the millions of people who live and work in the region as well as to our bondholders to pursue every legal avenue to recover the losses we sustained on September 11," the Port Authority statement said.
"Our proposed action is in line with similar suits filed by other injured parties."
The Cantor suit specifically names four Saudi officials, saying they organised and controlled a network of financial institutions and charities that aided Al Qaeda for at least seven years before September 11.