9/11 survivors’ group ‘appalled’ by ‘hurtful’ Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour forward of occasion staged close to Floor Zero | CNN




CNN
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A 9/11 survivors’ group has mentioned it’s “appalled” by the “offensive, disrespectful and hurtful” Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour because the occasion prepares to stage its subsequent competitors about 50 miles (80km) from the positioning of the lethal terror assault.

Talking on Tuesday at a press convention close to Bedminster, New Jersey, Terry Strada, chair of 9/11 Households United – a coalition of households and survivors of the 2001 terror assaults – mentioned that enjoying such a event so near the venue of the worst terrorist assault in American historical past is mistaken.

The competitors, the third within the collection, can be performed at Trump Nationwide Golf Membership Bedminster starting July 29.

“On September 11, after almost three hours of unprecedented terror by 19 Saudi-funded terrorists, Bedminster and surrounding cities got here collectively in extraordinary methods,” mentioned Strada, who misplaced her husband within the assaults.

“750 harmless folks from New Jersey had been brutally murdered, leaving over 1,000 youngsters in our cities with out a mum or dad, together with my three. Associates, neighbors and strangers embraced our struggling and helped us transfer by means of our devastation and ache.”

Alison Remy Crowther, a 9/11 Households United member whose son died in the course of the terrorist assaults, emphasised that Saudi Arabia should be held accountable for the “barbaric human rights atrocities for which they’re recognized” ought to the dominion need to “achieve legitimacy on the fashionable world stage and be seen as world leaders.”

Echoing this sentiment, Matthew Bocchi, whose father, John, additionally died in the course of the assaults, famous the group had gathered “to voice our considerations about accepting LIV and to declare that we, as 9/11 households, are usually not going away.”

“We’re infuriated, harm, and really feel as if we’ve got been let down as soon as once more with skilled golfers partnering with the very nation answerable for our ache and struggling,” he mentioned.

The allegations of Saudi government complicity with the assaults on September 11, 2001, have lengthy been the topic of dispute in Washington. Fifteen of the 19 al Qaeda terrorists who hijacked 4 planes had been Saudi nationals, however the Saudi authorities has denied any involvement within the assaults.

The 9/11 Fee established by Congress said in 2004 that it had discovered “no proof that the Saudi authorities as an establishment or senior Saudi officers individually funded” al Qaeda.

Nonetheless, the victims’ households have pushed for additional disclosures, and final yr the FBI launched a doc that particulars the FBI’s work to research the alleged logistical assist Saudi consular official and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent in Los Angeles supplied to no less than two hijackers.

In response to the criticism, LIV Golf informed CNN in a press release: “As we’ve got mentioned all alongside, these households have our deepest sympathy. Whereas some might not agree, we consider golf is a pressure for good all over the world.”

The 9/11 concern is only one of various criticisms of the LIV Golf collection.

Fronted by former world No. 1 Greg Norman, the team-based LIV collection is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – and has pledged to award $250 million in complete prize cash.

Tournaments are held over 54 holes, moderately than the PGA Tour’s 72 holes, and there are not any gamers lower throughout event play.

The massive sums of cash up for grabs, and fewer demanding necessities, spurred various golfers – many within the twilight of their careers – to interrupt away from the PGA Tour and be part of LIV, together with six-time main winner Phil Mickelson, four-time main champion Brooks Koepka and former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Strada went on to criticize the participation of the gamers, specifically the American ones, saying they had been prepared pawns in Saudi Arabia’s sportswashing – a time period used to explain corrupt or authoritarian regimes utilizing sport and sports activities occasions to whitewash their picture internationally.

“LIV Golf isn’t about sports activities or good competitors amongst worthy rivals, it’s a multibillion-dollar public relations stunt purchased and paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. By becoming a member of LIV, gamers have shamelessly partnered with the very nation that U.S. intelligence experiences show had quite a few connections to the assaults on September 11th,” she mentioned.

She mentioned she had reached out to each US President Joe Biden and LIV Golf CEO Norman to satisfy with 9/11 Households United and reply their questions.

She additionally mentioned she was “very dissatisfied” in former US President Donald Trump’s decision to host the occasion at his course however mentioned he wasn’t a key participant.

Final week, Trump had told golfers that they need to be part of the controversial tour and “take the cash now.”

“All of these golfers that stay ‘loyal’ to the very disloyal PGA, in all of its completely different varieties, can pay a giant value when the inevitable MERGER with LIV comes, and also you get nothing however a giant ‘thanks’ from PGA officers who’re making Hundreds of thousands of Dollars a yr,” Trump wrote on Reality Social Monday.

“In case you don’t take the cash now, you’ll get nothing after the merger takes place, and solely say how sensible the unique signees had been.”

CNN had not obtained a response from Trump or his crew at time of publication.



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