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Friday, July 12, 2024 | Back issues
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More Terror Victims Sue After Arab Bank Win

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) - Five banks conspired with Iran to process "hundreds of billions of dollars" for Hezbollah-sponsored terrorist attacks, hundreds of families of American soldiers say in Federal Court.

Named as defendants are HSBC Holdings PLC, Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse and Bank Saderat.

The 207-page complaint says Iran ran a "decades-long scheme to evade U.S. sanctions and provide material support to Hezbollah" and other terrorist groups through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force.

U.S. officials designated both Bank Saderat Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force as terrorist groups in 2007, the complaint alleges.

The Qods force allegedly provided up to $200 million annually to Hezbollah, and "delivers lethal support in the form of weapons, training, funding and guidance" to terrorist cells, including Hezbolalh, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq and the "Promised Day Brigades."

The organizations, which the complaint describes as the "Special Groups," "have targeted and killed American, British and Iraqi forces, as well as Iraqi and American civilians," the families say.

Iran began conspiring with the defendant banks in 1987, and let Iran transfer "billions of dollars" in American money to circumvent oversight by U.S. regulators, including "hundreds of millions of dollars to Hezbollah, the IRGC-QF, and other terrorist organizations actively engaged in murdering and maiming U.S. servicemen and civilians in Iraq," according to the complaint.

Each of the defendant banks "knowingly entered into an agreement with Iran and its agents" and agreed to "alter, falsify, or omit information from payment messages that involved Iran or Iranian parties," the lawsuit states.

Plaintiffs say the conspiracy was three-pronged: to conceal billions in transactions, to help give at least $150 million to Hezbollah and other terrorist groups, and to help Iran acquire technology for its "illegal Weapons of Mass Destruction program."

The defendant banks "knowingly participated in the conspiracy," according to the complaint.

Several attacks against soldiers - many of whom were in their late teens and early 20 - between 2004 and 2011 are described in the complaint.

Gary Osen, one of the attorneys who represented hundreds of families killed or injured in Hamas-sponsored terrorist attacks in the Middle East between 2000 and 2004, filed the complaint for the families.

A Brooklyn federal judge just ruled for those families in their 10-year-old complaint against Arab Bank last month.

The court found Arab Bank liable for 24 separate terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada, but the defendant has maintained that it did nothing wrong.

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