Understanding the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act
The U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act allows veterans and U.S. contractors who were injured as a result of an act of international terrorism to sue for injuries under 18 U.S. Code §2333. The ATA allows those who received injuries as a result of organizations which engaged in conspiracies which supported international terrorism to hold those organizations accountable. §2339B further makes it a criminal act to knowingly provide material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations. U.S. Veterans, service members and family members of a veteran or contractor injured, disabled or killed during the Iraq War could have specific legal rights under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act. This Act provides those who are victims of international terrorism the right to hold organizations which engaged in conspiracies supporting international terrorism accountable.
Banks Involved in Bank-Sponsored Terrorism
The foreign banks which entered into a criminal conspiracy to provide Iran with illegal financing have already admitted to criminal violations of providing billions of U.S. dollars to Iran, and money laundering. These banks were well aware that Iran was designated as a state-sponsor of terrorism, and that they were financing operations which would ultimately harm U.S. service members and contractors. The banks involved in this bank-sponsored terrorism included:
- BNP Paribas S.A.
- Barclays Plc.
- Standard Chartered Bank Plc.
- Commerzbank A.G.
- Credit Suisse AG
- Credit Suisse Asset Management Limited
- HSBC Holding Group Plc.
Court documents show that HSBC Group allowed more than $660 million in transactions to be processed through U.S. Financial Institutions, including HSBC Bank of the United States. The HSBC Group worked with Iran, despite knowing about the U.S. sanctions against Iran, deliberately removing information which identified Iran from dollar payment messages—in other words, they knowingly engaged in bank-sponsored terrorism, despite being aware of the sanctions in place against Iran. The Chief of the IRS stated that when banks disregard the Bank Secrecy Act’s reporting requirements, layers of defense are compromised, making it that much more difficult to detect and deter criminal behaviors.
Credit Suisse, both in the United Kingdom and Switzerland, deliberately altered wire transfers which involved sanctioned countries like Iran, removing material information from payment messages, which then allowed the wire transfers to go undetected through U.S. financial institutions. Additionally, Credit Suisse Bank trained Iranian clients to falsify wire transfers in the same manner. These schemes allowed sanctioned countries to move millions of dollars through the U.S. financial system.
Commerzbank AG admitted to violating sanctions, as well as violating bank secrecy laws, and, like the other banks, concealed hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions which were specifically prohibited by U.S. sanction laws, once again undermining the integrity of our financial system, as well as threatening national security and putting the lives of American service members and contractors at risk. Commerzbank specifically designated employees in their Frankfurt office to “amend” payments to Iran, so those payments would go undetected by sanction filters of the United States.
All of the banks listed above knowingly violated U.S. economic sanctions which then enabled Iran to access financial systems and transfer funds which were used to arm and train terrorism groups. Each of the banks admitted to criminally financing Iran, and each bank paid a fine, which was in the millions, or even the billions, to escape further criminal prosecution.
Most Common Injuries Seen in the Iraq War:
There are many injuries suffered by those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, however the most common injuries include:
- Broken bones, limb amputations;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Blast injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Loss of vision, and
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
About one out of every ten veterans alive today received serious injuries while serving in the military, and about 75 percent of those injuries were received during combat. The physical and emotional consequences of these serious injuries endure long after the service member returns home. These veterans and contractors who were injured during the Iraq War or while in Afghanistan can be twice as likely to have trouble readjusting to civilian life than those who did not suffer such serious injuries, and much more likely to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The overall health of these service members is not likely to be stable, and they are less likely to be able to hold a full-time job. In fact, nearly three-in-ten disabled veterans say their war injuries prevent them from obtaining or keeping a job.
The U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act (USVSST) is a fund established to compensate victims of terrorism, as well as their families. Because at least nine banks illegally funneled money to Iran, then that money was used to fund terrorism, those banks were required to pay billions in fines for violating U.S. foreign sanction laws. A portion of this money was then used to create the USVSST Fund to compensate soldiers and contractors, as well as their family members, for injuries or death related to state-sponsored terrorism.
These service members deserve justice from banks which engaged in massive money laundering on behalf of Iran, violating U.S. laws in the process. The beneficiaries of the USVSST Fund include victims (and families and estates) who were held captive in Tehran, Iran, as well as those injured and killed in the Iraq War and Afghanistan.
Is It Time for You to Speak to an Experienced U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act Attorney?
Those who have suffered serious injury or the families of those who have died as a result of state-sponsored terrorism/bank-sponsored terrorism may benefit from speaking to an Iraq war explosion injury attorney to determine whether an Iraq war veteran’s lawsuit is appropriate. IED explosions, EFP explosions, RPG explosions and IRAM explosions may all result in serious injuries, even death, and may make those who endured such explosions eligible for an IED explosion injury lawsuit. Explosion related traumatic brain injury lawsuits and explosion related spinal cord injury lawsuits are just two of the many lawsuits which service members, veterans and U.S. contractors may be eligible to file. An experienced U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act Attorney can help you determine the best way to proceed in this matter.