Iran continues to be the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism according to a new report titled “Country Reports on Terrorism.” In fact, the U.S. State Department considered Iran the planet’s “foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2016,” definitely a dubious distinction. It is clear that Iran supplied weapons, money and training to militant Shia groups, and refused to identify or prosecute senior members of the al-Qaida network. What many Americans don’t know is that Iran’s terrorism was financed by several EU banks.
Because of this, these banks bear some responsibility for the severe injuries and deaths of American soldiers and contractors. These banks funded Iranian terrorism despite sanctions put into place by Congress for the purpose of preventing such acts. Those sanctions restricted Iran’s ability to obtain the necessary funding to make and deploy lethal weapons, yet despite the sanctions, Iran found banks willing to work with them in exchange for large financial gains.
Banks Complicit in Iranian-Sponsored Terrorism
The banks identified as those sponsoring Iranian terrorism include the following:
· Barclay’s PLC
· Standard Chartered Bank
· BNP Paribas S.A.
· HSBC Holding Group PLC
· Credit Suisse
· Commerzbank A.G.
These European banking institutions all have a major presence in New York, and while the banks did not deal directly with militants, they have acknowledged transferring literally billions of dollars on behalf of Iran. Americans who are now choosing to sue these banks are taking their cue from federal prosecutors who, several years ago, accused these banks of violating U.S. sanctions by funding terrorism. Many of the banks paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, admitting to wrongdoing, and those admissions now serve as a template for private anti-terrorism lawsuits.
The Victims of Iranian-Sponsored Terrorism
Literally tens of thousands of U.S. Veterans, Service Members, Contractors and their families have been harmed by terrorism sponsored by Iran, through banking institutions. After all, if there had been no money to purchase weapons and ammunitions (such as EFPs, IEDs, and RAMS), to those in Iraq and Afghanistan, those weapons could not have harmed Americans. In fact, Iranian-sponsored terrorists were responsible for the majority of U.S. casualties in Iraq, as well as attacks in Afghanistan. Some of the more common disabilities, injuries and conditions which were incurred because of Iranian-sponsored terrorism include:
· Spinal cord injuries
· Loss of vision
· Injuries from explosions and blasts
· Traumatic brain injuries
· Physical injuries, including broken bones
· Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD—A Common Condition Among U.S. Soldiers
While many injuries are visible, a large percentage of soldiers return from combat with PTSD—a mental health problem resulting from witnessing or experiencing life-threatening events. In fact, more than 540,000 American Veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD, and at least one in five veterans of the Iraq war came home with PTSD. Combat injuries from explosions or gunshots can also lead to PTSD symptoms. Some of the symptoms associated with PTSD include:
· Severe anxiety
· Mistrust of others
· Heightened reactivity to stimuli
· Avoidance of situations which bring back the trauma
· Social isolation
· Irritability, hostility, agitation
· Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
· Emotional detachment
Examples of State-Sponsored Terrorism
Examples of Iranian’s state-sponsored terrorism include the following:
· A five-car convoy opened fire on a compound 30 miles south of Baghdad—a “sneak” attack that killed four American soldiers;
· A militant group kidnapped and killed an American journalist, and
· A roadside bomb struck a U.S. military vehicle, killing an American soldier.
These are just a tiny percentage of the American deaths and injuries which were a direct result of Iranian-sponsored terrorism.
Who is Entitled to File an Anti-Terrorism Lawsuit?
Plaintiffs who may be entitled to file an anti-terrorism lawsuit include U.S. Veterans, Service Members and Contractors who were severely injured or disabled, as well as family members who lost loved ones or whose loved ones were severely injured or disabled due to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. Under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, spouses, children, siblings and parents of those harmed by these terrorist attacks could be eligible to join an anti-terrorism lawsuit.
How an Anti-Terrorism Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one was injured in violation of U.S. law which allows victims of terrorist attacks to sue conspirators who help make terrorist attacks possible, you may be entitled to legal recourse. Current lawsuits claim the above financial institutions conspired with Iranian counterparts to hide financial transactions from the U.S., despite sanctions imposed on the country. It is alleged that these banks channeled billions of dollars to Iranian military operatives which funded military attacks in Iraq between 2003 and 2011. If you or a loved one served in the military or were a military contractor and sustained serious injuries as a result of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, it could benefit you to speak with an experienced Anti-Terrorism lawyer to determine whether you might be entitled to compensation.