Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, a U.S. Citizen, is suing Saudi billionaire Sheik Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz, the former banker of the Saudi royal family who is has been widely reported to fund terrorist organizations such as HAMAS and al-Qaeda. She is suing Mahfouz in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to protect her First Amendment right after he sued her for libel in the UK in an attempt to silence her from reporting about his activities and reported links to Islamist terrorists.
Saudi Arabia has been a long-term friend of the west, but that friendship allowed for some shady dealing with some of its most influential individuals. Many important Saudi citizens have been found to have connections with terrorist organizations, and that is troubling news. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, who backed her claims with evidence is right, and we (as a country) should pay more attention to her claims.
Reactions to the case
James Woolsey, the former Director of the CIA, who wrote the foreword to “Funding Evil”:
Rachel Ehrenfeld is fighting a lonely and vital battle to limit the chilling effect of these British rulings and keep them from being given effect here. She deserves all of our help.”
“Dr. Ehrenfeld is a respected scholar, who, to my knowledge, does not make irresponsible charges … She currently serves with me and former Secretary of State George Schulz on the board of directors of The Committee on the Present Danger. We are dedicated to winning the war on terrorism, and the contribution of members like Rachel Ehrenfeld has been invaluable.”
Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment lawyer:
“This is an important issue. It imperils American authors writing for Americans about issues of interest to them. American authors should line up and support the lawsuit.”
James Goodale, former general counsel and vice chairman of the New York Times Co.:
“The Mahfouz suit is totally unfair. Ehrenfeld has not published her book in the United Kingdom. She published it in the United States and has no control over special orders that have the book sent abroad through the Internet.”
Statement of 9/11 Families for a Secure America Board of Directors:
“The members of 9/11 FSA, as direct victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, have therefore have a special interest in the uncovering of all those individuals and organizations which played a role, either directly or indirectly, in the conspiracy which led to the mass murders of that day. It is for this reason we support the position of the plaintiff Ehrenfeld.”