Powered by WebAds

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Going after Arab Bank in New York

Here's a very lengthy post about a lawyer's efforts to go after the New York branch of Jordan's Arab Bank for financing terrorism. Here's the key passage:
What Osen found particularly galling was that much of the money that flowed to these families and groups passed through New York, where the Arab Bank’s dollar-denominated transactions were cleared. It appeared Arab Bank was facilitating massive amounts of terror financing from Madison Avenue, right under the noses of federal regulators and the US government.
Shortly after the bombing of bus no. 6 a representative from “The Organization of Martyr Families” telephoned Bassam Takruri’s parents. He told Takruri’s mother to open an account at the Arab Bank so the family could receive its reward. Soon after the account was open, the first $200 arrived by direct transfer, a process repeated every month for a year. When, a few weeks after the attack, Israeli bulldozers razed the family’s home to the ground, they moved into an apartment paid for by the group, a portrait of their martyr son hanging over the sofa.
It never occurred to Takruri’s father not to accept the funds or turn down the offer of a place to live.
“We needed the money,” he told Der Spiegel. “We suddenly no longer had a house.”
Now that Osen understood how the money flowed, he needed a theory of liability that would enable him to bring suit against the bank. It didn’t take him long to settle on the US Anti-terrorism Act, which Congress passed into law shortly after the events of September 11, 2001. It made it possible for the families or heirs of an American injured by an act of terrorism to sue in any appropriate district court of the United States and recover “threefold the damages he or she sustains and the cost of the suit, including attorney’s fees.” One key aspect of the Act deals with terror financing. Osen believed that the bank violated the law by soliciting, collecting, transmitting, disbursing, and providing the financial resources that allowed Hamas and its affiliated organizations to flourish and engage in a campaign of terror.
In the past, American courts awarded billions of dollars in damages against Iran for sponsoring terrorist groups, but victims have had difficulty collecting because the US State and Justice departments resisted seizing foreign government assets. Because of a lack of diplomatic relations, Iran had few assets in America, and what it had were embassies and the like — nothing that could be seized. Osen was sure a judgment against a foreign bank, especially one with assets in the United States, would reap different results. You couldn’t alter the nation of Iran’s behavior by suing it, but you could deter commercial entities from aiding terrorism by holding them accountable and hitting them on their bottom lines.
Read the whole thing.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home