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 several global banks have admitted to violating U.S. Counter-Terrorism Sanctions by having helped process money for Iran that was ultimately used by Iran to sponsor terror. U.S. Counter-Terrorism Sanctions were put in place to restrict Iran’s ability to obtain the necessary funding to make and deploy lethal weapons. Despite the presence of these sanctions, Iran found global banks willing to work with them in processing large financial transactions.
Global Banks Associated with Iran and Iran's State Sponsored Terrorism
A number of global banks have admitted to violating U.S. Counter-Terrorism Sanctions and subsequently entered into Deferred Prosecution Agreements and Consent Orders. These global banks include:
- Barclay’s PLC
- Standard Chartered Bank PLC
- BNP Paribas S.A.
- HSBC Holding Group PLC
- Credit Suisse A.G.
- Credit Suisse Asset Management LTD
- Commerzbank A.G.
These global banking institutions all have a major presence in New York. Some of these banks have acknowledged transferring 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 certain global banks of violating U.S. sanctions by funding terrorism. Some of these global banks paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, and admitting to wrongdoing. Those admissions now potentially 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, who conducted large financial transactions through global banks. If there had been no money to purchase weapons and ammunitions (such as EFPs, IEDs, and RAMS), to those in Iraq, those weapons could not have harmed Americans. Iranian-sponsored terrorists were responsible for the majority of U.S. casualties in Iraq. 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 Iranian 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 state-sponsored terrorism.
Who is Eligible to File a U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act 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 state-sponsored terrorism in the Iraq War. 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 Act 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 that certain global banks 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 state-sponsored terrorism in the Iraq War, it could benefit you to speak with an experienced Anti-Terrorism lawyer to determine whether you might be entitled to compensation.