A federal suit that was filed earlier in May in the District of Columbia is requesting financial compensation for veterans that have been injured, families of the those who have been killed and Gold Star families that have been caught up in the consequences of any of 16 terrorist attacks that happened all over Iraq between November 2004 and November 2009.
The suit states that Iran provided extensive assistance to numerous terrorist organisations in the Middle East. This included financial support, training, provisions, experts, arms, etc., and was supplied to groups such as Ansar al-Islam and Hezbollah.
Thanks to the approval of federal legislators, new laws exist to make it easier for US citizens that have been impacted by terrorist attacks to bring their claim to court and seek restitution from countries abroad.
One of the legal firms that has just joined the coalition is Levin Papantonio in Pensacola. A senior partner at the firm, Mike Papantonio, has said that the litigation is a means of fighting terrorism and a way to “dry up their money”.
He said that it may seem strange to bring legal action to a whole country because of terrorist incidents, but explained that it is not much different than finding out a large company has been involved in fraudulent activities.
Papantonio pointed out that research, documentation and forensic experts contribute to finding out where money originates from and where it goes. This means that families and lawyers can also pursue action against banks that deal with terrorists’ money.
One of the other firms in the coalition has pointed out that there are so far nine European banks that admit to being involved in conspiracies to provide funding, illegally, to Iran and its banks. The HSBC Holdings bank has forfeited approximately $1.25 billion for its involvement.
Papantonio emphasised the importance of such cases, saying that it is a crucial step in making American people understand that those who perpetrate terrorist activities will be punished and will be held accountable.
He also highlighted the responsibility of the bankers who are involved in washing funds for terrorism. He slammed them for making money from activities they know will cost lives.
Although financial compensation will not reverse the pain suffered by the affected families, it is an important step in holding terrorists accountable.