Reuters is reporting that a New York jury has found the Arab Bank Plc liable for providing material support to Hamas and said it must compensate victims of related Hamas terrorist attacks. According to the report, the case is the first terrorism financing civil case to reach trial in the United States:
Reuters September 22, 2014 – A U.S. jury on Monday found Arab Bank Plc liable for providing material support to Hamas and said it must compensate victims of two dozen attacks attributed to the Islamic militant group in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Jurors needed less than two days of deliberations to reach their verdict after a six-week trial in Brooklyn federal court, which lawyers described as the first terrorism financing civil case to reach trial in the United States.
A trial on damages will be held later. Similar lawsuits are pending in New York against Bank of China Ltd, which is accused of providing services to Palestine Islamic Jihad, and Credit Lyonnais SA, which is accused of aiding Hamas. Those banks have denied the respective allegations.
Nearly 300 Americans who were either victims or related to victims of attacks linked to Hamas had sued Arab Bank in 2004.
They accused the Jordanian bank of violating the Anti-Terrorism Act, a law that lets victims of U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations such as Hamas seek damages.
“It has been a long haul,” said plaintiff Maida Averbach, 76, who said her son was paralyzed from the neck down in a 2003 suicide bombing and died in 2010 from complications. “Unfortunately my Steve isn’t here.” Averbach spoke to reporters by phone.
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