Prince Faisal bin Salman issued a statement April 30 that said he wants to clear the name of his late brother, Prince Ahmed bin Salman, who in a book was tied to al-Qaeda and said to have knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Prince Ahmed headed The Thoroughbred Corp., owner of War Emblem, winner of the 2002 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He died later that year.
In the statement released from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia via the PRNewswire, Prince Faisal said he plans a "concerted effort" to clear his brother's name and reputation. The statement reads:
"Two years ago this week, my brother, Prince Ahmed bin Salman, won the Kentucky Derby with his horse, War Emblem. Unfortunately, Prince Ahmed passed away in 2002, so he will not have the chance to compete in the 130th Kentucky Derby.
"A year and a half after Prince Ahmed's historic win, the book Why America Slept
was published and became a bestseller. In the book, author Gerald Posner claims that my brother had ties to al-Qaeda and advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks.
"Another book is now on The New York Times bestseller list that reiterates the conspiracy theory first raised by Posner. The new book, House of Bush, House of Saud
, by Craig Unger, does contain a footnote stating that Posner's theory is 'quite controversial.' But such a weak disclaimer, if that is what the author intended it to be, hardly excuses him from perpetuating a lie.
"The former head of the CIA's counter-terrorism unit, Vince Cannistraro, has stated that Posner's conspiratorial claims are blatantly false and that Posner's two 'unnamed' sources may have used Posner as a means to an end.
"Not a single, solitary government official or media source has ever come forward with any evidence linking Prince Ahmed to any criminal activity. But that fact has not stopped Unger, Posner and the media from accepting the outrageous claims at face value.
"Conspiracy theories, by their very nature, are never easy to refute, especially when the subject of the conspiracy is dead and therefore unable to give an account. There are many holes in the conspiracy theory linking Prince Ahmed to al-Qaeda that should (and will) be explored.
"The books being promulgated by Gerald Posner and Craig Unger, and their respective publishers, Random House and Scribner, have shattered the reputation and dishonored the memory of my brother."