The United States Anti-Terrorism Act (18 U.S. Code §2333) allows any “national of the United States,” as well as his or her survivors to sue for injuries received through an act of international terrorism. This Anti-Terrorism Act allows plaintiffs to hold organizations which supported international terrorism accountable, suing them for monetary damages in U.S. Federal courts. Under §2339B, it is a crime to knowingly provide material support or resources to organizations which have been designated as foreign terrorists. When Congress enacted the Anti-Terrorism Act, it was acknowledged that international terrorism is a “serious and deadly problem.” The U.S. also acknowledged that some foreign terrorist organizations acted through another group to raise funds through the U.S., or to use the U.S. as a “conduit” for funds raised in other nations.
Certain Global Banks Face Suits for Facilitating Iran’s Ability to Fund Terrorism
Starting in 2007, it was slowly uncovered that certain global banks were illegally processing large financial transactions for the country of Iran, in direct violation of U.S. Anti-Terrorism Sanctions. These financial transactions provided billions of dollars to Iran, which Iran ultimately used to fund terrorists who were responsible for the death and injury of American soldiers and civilian contractors. These banks assisted Iran financially, despite U.S. sanctions against Iran for being a “State Sponsor of Terrorism.” These sanctions made it illegal for the U.S. banking systems to be accessed by Iran, yet these global banks deliberately altered documents to hide their actions from the United States.
Several of these banks admitted to transferring billions of dollars to Iran, however the United States imposed fines on the banks in return for a promise to delay prosecution. Delaying prosecution, in most cases, means forgoing prosecution altogether, which the U.S. is fully aware of. If the United States were to have pressed criminal charges against the banks, they (the banks) would have lost their banking licenses and, according to some, this would have resulted in destabilization of the banking system. The banks who entered into Deferred Prosecution Agreements and Consent Orders include:
- HSBC Holdings Group PLC
- Barclays PLC
- Standard Chartered Bank
- Credit Suisse A.G.
- Credit Suisse Asset Management LTD
- Commerzbank A.G
- BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas paid a staggering $9 billion for their violations of U.S. Counter-Terrorism Sanctions, and the other banks paid lesser amounts. BNP Paribas admitted it setting up elaborate payment structures, routing Iranian, Cuban and Sudanese transactions through satellite banks in an attempt to disguise the transactions. The BNP Paribas transactions—as well as the transactions of the other banks—directly supported terrorism. These monies eventually landed in the hands of terrorists, such as Hezbollah, ultimately resulting in death and injury of thousands of Americans in Iraq. Iran also equipped terrorists with technology, training, and weaponry.
EFP detonations were, perhaps the most overt manifestation of Iran in the Iraq War, as the technology to manufacture these deadly warheads is not available in Iraq. EFPs are Explosively formed penetrators, and have been called the most lethal weapon American forces faced in Iraq. The weapons are considered so deadly because they can be hidden as much as 100 yards from the road, camouflaged as rocks or trash, and because they are armor-piercing weapons. The Iranian manufactured EFPs were made of steel and rounded copper—precision-made copper discs which formed a molten slug when detonated, penetrating even the most hardened armored vehicles.
It is believed that Iranian-sponsored terrorism was responsible for at least 25 percent of U.S. casualties during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Iran trained special terrorist groups, then funded and armed them. In addition to Hezbollah, Iran sponsored other terrorist groups such as Ansar al-Islam, whose only purpose was to attack American soldiers and citizen contractors.
Could You Be Entitled to File an Anti-Terrorism Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed as a result of Iranian-sponsored terrorism due to violations of U.S. Counter-Terrorism Sanctions by certain global banks, you may benefit from filing a U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act Lawsuit. According to 18 U.S. Code § 2333, you could potentially be entitled to recover threefold the damages you sustained, as well as the costs associated with the anti-terrorism lawsuit itself, including attorney’s fees. It is time to stand up and hold those responsible for the deaths and injuries of American soldiers and citizen contractors accountable. Having an experienced Anti-Terrorism Act Lawyer by your side can be of significant benefit as you navigate your way through an Anti-Terrorism Act Lawsuit.