Via America’s Lawyer: The kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to face lawsuits over its proven connections to terrorist attacks, including the 9/11 hijackings, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and the deadly mass shooting at a Pensacola naval base. Meanwhile, U.S. officials remain enamored by lucrative U.S.-Saudi arms deals while turning a blind eye to crimes of the Kingdom. Mike Papantonio and is joined by Attorney Chris Paulos to explain more.

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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been named in a lawsuit over a mass shooting that took place in Pensacola, Florida, at the Naval station in 2019, after a Saudi national murdered multiple people and sent dozens more to the hospital. Joining me to talk about this lawsuit is my partner, Chris Paulos. It’s, Chris, I’m so glad. I don’t, I don’t think there’s anybody in the country, honestly, that knows as much about how the Royal family, the Saudi Royal family operates its terrorism regime in the United States. So start by telling us what, tell us about the day that the shooting took place in, in the Navy base.

Chris Paulos:                        On December 6th, 2019, second Lieutenant Alshamrani of the Royal Saudi air force entered a secure military Navy installation at NAS Pensacola. He brought with him hundreds of rounds of nine millimeter ammunition and a nine millimeter pistol. He went and prayed at a pray station on base and then he immediately walked into building 633 on the base, scouted the location, using his uniform as cover to walk through a building that he was very familiar with because he was a student there, identified his victims and then proceeded to execute them one at a time for about 15 minutes.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. He was a student there because we sell so damn many military weapons to Saudi Arabia that we then have to say, okay, well, we’ll train your people to use the most sophisticated weapons in the world. We’ll train them right here in the United States. As a matter of fact, one of my relatives actually trains them how to fly the most sophisticated airplanes on the planet. So we, this is all about, this is all about weapons, isn’t it?

Chris Paulos:                        That right. He was here because he was part of a training program that was directly tied to sales of aircrafts to Saudi Arabia.

Mike Papantonio:             So, good for McDonnell Douglas. Good for Raytheon. Good for Boeing. But bad when you look at what, what, what the Saudi Royal family is using this for. Tell us, tell us about the shooter.

Chris Paulos:                        Well, the shooter, again, second Lieutenant Alshamrani was handpicked by the Saudi Royal air force to come over here to learn to fly planes. He had allegedly been vetted for anything in his background that would be suspicious, but clearly something failed entirely, if not it was intentionally ignored by the Saudi military when they picked him. He had posted online extreme ideologies and extreme views, anti-American, anti-Israel views, well before ever joining the Saudi military and well before ever being picked to come in, to the United States to learn to fly planes.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. And of course, the suggestion that I’ve seen time and time again is he was a Trojan horse. Okay. He had been trained by the Wahhabi clerics. He was, he was, he was covered with their awful, awful ideology of how everything in the West, that we’re a bunch of devils. We’re a bunch of infidels who need to be killed. I mean, that’s, that’s the message of the, the Wahabi cleric, who, by the way, the Wahhabi clerics are so tied to the Royal family that you can’t stick a knife between the two of them. That’s how close the Wahhabi clerics, the crazy guys, and the Saudi Royal family is.

Chris Paulos:                        Yeah, that’s correct. He was exposed to those types of teachings from an early age and all through the state sponsored educational program there in Saudi Arabia. And he was quoting extreme clerics online for a long period of time before he ever committed this attack.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. Now you’re, you’re handling terrorism cases, many different kinds of terrorism cases that connect up to the Saudi Royal family or Saudi Arabia in different forms and fashions. I don’t know anybody in the country that’s handling as many terrorists, terrorism cases as you are, to be frank. So as we look at this, we know that, this is, this is a long history of us just opening the door to the Royal family. A, because they got, they got oil. B, because the weapons industry demands that we train these free, train these folks over in the United States. We knew after 9/11, that something was really wrong here, didn’t we? We knew this crazy relationship we had with the Saudi Royal family was ridiculous, didn’t we?

Chris Paulos:                        Yeah, well, 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi, Saudi citizens. And there are pending lawsuits and even official reports, the 9/11 commission report, that have tied Saudi state support to those hijackers, even here in the United States, they sought refuge and received material support from Saudi officials. And so, you know, they’re, we’ve known for a long time about an extremist problem in Saudi Arabia and yet we tend to turn a blind eye when oil or weapons are involved.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. And we know the shooter, here’s what you just told us. The shooter, there was plenty of history before he ever stepped foot on American soil. We know that. We know that the movie, The Dissident really talks about what they call the flies. I think that’s the term they use, the flies, that keep up with everybody that comes from Saudi Arabia to the United States. Talk about that a little bit.

Chris Paulos:                        Yeah, absolutely. You know, Saudi Arabia is one of the most prolific police States in the world. They track all of their citizens abroad. They use technology to track their cell phones, and we knew they were employing this type of technology on all of their citizens cell phones in the United States, including Lieutenant Alshamrani at the time that he was acting very suspicious. He actually took, he went AWOL. He took leave unapproved, went to New York in the weeks before the attack over Thanksgiving weekend and paid homage to the 9/11 terrorist attacks by visiting the Memorial site there with fellow soldiers that should have reported that behavior.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. And the fellow soldiers thing, I don’t, I still don’t think has feathered itself out the, on the base. The fact that this wasn’t just one guy. There, there’s a bigger problem than this and unfortunately, the weapons industry has such a strong thumb, heavy thumb, over the Pentagon that we’re allowing these folks to stay and we shouldn’t. You know, it’s just a matter of time before they’re flying all these jets against us, before they’re using this weaponry against us or Israel. It’s just a matter time. And you look at, you look at the Khashoggi case. I, one thing that interested me, I remember after this thug killed all these folks, Trump said to the Royal family, well, won’t you help the families? And, oh yeah, MBS said, yeah, we’re going to be there to help. Right?

Chris Paulos:                        Yeah. That’s, that’s right. President Trump did come out and say that he had spoken to the King and to MBS after this attack at, in Pensacola, and that they had promised him that they would take care of the families and make things right immediately in the aftermath of the attack. And sadly, the, the, the reality is that nobody’s heard from Saudi Arabia. They’ve made no overture. They’ve reached out to no victims. They’ve made no contacts.

Mike Papantonio:             They haven’t called you, have they?

Chris Paulos:                        Absolutely not.

Mike Papantonio:             You’re the guy handling the case. No, no telephone calls from MBS. Round out MBS a little bit, Chris, I know, you know a lot about this guy. He’s a punk. I mean, that’s the only way I can describe him. He’s a royal, I call him the Royal punk.

Chris Paulos:                        Okay.

Mike Papantonio:             The Royal punk has made his way into leadership in Saudi Arabia. How’s that happened?

Chris Paulos:                        Well, you know, he’s, he’s been picked by King Solomon to be his predecessor and it doesn’t appear to be any change in course, in that regard. He’s obviously tried to exert his influence. He’s, he’s held people essentially hostage in his own country. He’s extorted billions of dollars out of his own family members. He’s, you know, as we know, sent murder squads around the globe to attack dissidents. And is essentially aware of, and in charge of everything that’s happening in the, in the Saudi Royal family at this point in time, as well as everything that Saudi Arabia is doing extra territorially including sending pilots such as Alshamrani to the United States.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, they’re, we, we know that this is not the first time we’ve caught the Royal family red handed, trying to attack the United States in some form or fashion. Besides 9/11, we know about a lot more, don’t we?

Chris Paulos:                        Yeah. I mean, we, we, we know that the Royal family and, well Saudi Arabia in general, has been supporting groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, that’s based in Yemen. They’ve been supporting a group of, of, of several groups there that are fighting Houthi rebels, including Al Qaeda. Now, you know, out of one corner of their mouth they say they’re fighting terrorism and doing things to stamp out extremism, but they’re turning a blind eye to all of the material support that’s being provided by members of the Royal family, members of the government, to these groups directly. They’re failing to prosecute financers of terrorism within their own borders.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. That’s important. Let me talk about that. You, that’s part of your case.

Chris Paulos:                        That’s right.

Mike Papantonio:             Is you have followed the money all the way to Saudi Arabia on hundreds and hundreds of people who have, who have directly or indirectly been murdered by the money that comes from the Saudi family. Correct?

Chris Paulos:                        That’s right.

Mike Papantonio:             And we know they’ve washed it through banks. We know they’ve taken it through UBS, a lot of huge banks, throughout, throughout the world. And we know that you’ve been able to trace Saudi money the whole. But we ignore that, don’t we? We just, we just say okay, well, that’s okay. We’re going to allow it to happen. It continues to happen, doesn’t it?

Chris Paulos:                        It does. I mean, they, they, the, the Saudi family and Saudi Arabia is a prolific supporter of, of Al Qaeda, of Al Qaeda and the Arabian peninsula and they have been for years. And they promote the Wahhabi, Salafi jihadist ideology that those extreme groups subscribe to. They use the words of that particular ideology as motivation and basis, and to justify their terrorist goals.

Mike Papantonio:             It doesn’t seem to be getting any better, maybe a little bit. It looks like the administration, Biden administration gave the Royal family another free pass on murdering Khashoggi. I mean, just absolutely, they knew all the facts. They even understood, if you watch The Dissident, that MBS was actually watching the murder take place on a video screen. But nevertheless, they have free pass here, don’t they?

Chris Paulos:                        Yeah. I mean, it’s certainly disappointing to see the, the tact that the Biden administration has taken now that they’re in charge compared to what his words were during the campaign. It’s clear that MBS is not going to suffer any ill consequences directly because, because of his involvement in the attack. Our hope is that our court system, lawsuits like ours, are going to be able to hold them to account more so than it looks like the administration is at this point in time.

Mike Papantonio:             Chris, good luck on this. Okay. This is the biggest case, one of the biggest cases in the country, maybe on the globe right now to get the Royal family under control, just a little bit. Thank you for joining me. Okay.

Chris Paulos:                        Thank you, Pap.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.