Although acts of terrorism may feel as though they occur a world away from Wall Street, in fact they now underpin anti-terrorism lawsuits against some of the world’s biggest banks. While international finance appears complex and somewhat shadowy to most of us, some attacks on American citizens stationed or working in Iraq during the war were financed by certain EU banks—in direct violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act of the United States. In fact, these banks are being accused of helping finance the violent activities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars through their ties to Iran—one of the primary sponsors of terrorism.
The banks include Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered, HSBC, Barclays, BNP Paribas and Commerzbank A.G. These European banking institutions also have a major presence in New York, and while they did not deal directly with militants, they have admitted to transferring literally billions of dollars on behalf of Iran. This money funded, trained and armed terrorist groups which carried out attacks against Americans in Iraq. These very same banks were accused of this same crime, in violation of U.S. sanctions, several years ago. Those charges were settled through payment of billions of dollars from the banks to the United States, along with admissions of wrongdoing.
Those admissions now serve as a template for private anti-terrorism lawsuits. The private anti-terrorism lawsuits reach far beyond the claims of the government which paint these banks as middlemen of terror. Without money, the Iranians would not have been able to provide weapons to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and the Shiite militant groups, and the thousands of Americans who were killed or maimed would not have been.
Millions or billions of dollars were illegally funneled through the named banks, facilitating terrorism, and showing that the human cost of something as impersonal as a wire transfer can be very high. The banks are expected to claim that whether a particular bank was the physical conduit of transfers to terrorists is immaterial, and does not constitute conspiracy. On the flip side, attorneys for the plaintiffs will likely show the banks’ flagrant disregard for the U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Could You Benefit from an Anti-Terrorism Lawsuit?
The lawsuits against the banks assert they are liable under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, allowing claims against any person or entity which finances or provides material support to terrorists. If you were injured while in Iraq or Afghanistan, you could be entitled to seek compensatory damages which include economic losses, punitive damages, physical injury damages, extreme mental anguish, and pain and suffering. Your anti-terrorism lawyer could seek compensatory and treble damages (triple the amount of compensatory damages).
How an Anti-Terrorism Lawyer Could Help with a Free Claim Review
It could be in your best interests to speak to an experienced anti-terrorism attorney who can help you with determine, through a free claim review, whether you should consider filing an anti-terrorism lawsuit. Those who were in the military, as well as civilian contractors who were in Afghanistan and/or Iraq and were injured could potentially benefit from speaking to an anti-terrorism lawsuit.