News / USA

Arab Bank in US Faces Trial Over Hamas Funding

An Arab Bank window reflects peace flags being carried in an anti-war demonstration in Rome Feb. 15, 2003.
An Arab Bank window reflects peace flags being carried in an anti-war demonstration in Rome Feb. 15, 2003.
Reuters

Arab Bank PLC goes on trial next week in New York over claims that it provided material support to the Palestinian group Hamas, in what one of the plaintiffs' lawyers said is the first terrorism financing case against a bank to go to trial in the United States.

Almost 300 U.S. citizens who were the victims – or their relatives – of militant attacks allegedly committed by Hamas in Israel and the Palestinian territories between 2001 and 2004 sued the Amman, Jordan-based bank in 2004. About 200 other plaintiffs in the lawsuit with claims against the bank stemming from attacks blamed on the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and other groups have not yet gone to trial.

The plaintiffs accused the bank of violating the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, which allows victims of U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations to seek compensation. The U.S. State Department designated Hamas a terrorist organization in 1997.

Arab Bank has said it did not cause or provide material support for the attacks.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan, presiding over the case in Brooklyn federal court, has said the trial could last up to 60 days. Jury selection begins on Monday.

Precedent-setting case?

The bank could be liable for millions of dollars, said Gary Osen, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. He said this was the first terrorism financing case against a bank to go to trial in the United States.

The trial could be a guidepost for the other plaintiffs in the case, Osen said. Meanwhile, civil terror financing cases are pending against Bank of China Ltd. and Credit Lyonnais SA in Manhattan and Brooklyn federal court.

The plaintiffs' evidence will include bank records and newspaper advertisements showing that Arab Bank maintained accounts for Hamas operatives and processed payments for the families of suicide bombers, Osen said.

Arab Bank’s defense

Arab Bank has said it will argue that of millions of transactions it processed during the period, only four processed in New York involved parties the United States had designated as terrorists, which it reported to U.S. regulators who took no action.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the bank said it “provided routine banking services in compliance with applicable counter terrorism laws and regulations, and had no intention of providing support to Hamas or any other known terrorist organization.”

In 2012, U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein, in the same Brooklyn federal court, dismissed a similar case against the bank, saying plaintiff Mati Gill could not prove it was responsible for injuries sustained in 2008 from gunshots fired from Gaza into Israel.

Daniel Alonso, a managing director with compliance consulting firm Exiger and former prosecutor, said courts apply strict standards to claims for recovery under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

“It's not enough simply to have failed in your controls,” said Alonso. “The defendant must have caused injury to the victims through their actions.”

The case is Linde et al. v. Arab Bank, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, No. 04-2799.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
August 09, 2014 1:59 PM
The trial endeavor on our behalf relating the Arab bank is certainly legitimate. The Hamas funding related financial organization should have taken under our federal laws much before.......... It's for funding funding the Hamas, even for its suicide bombers......... it's unbelievable. While our govt. along with our friendly states do move fighting world terror in the Afro-Asian states, the bank accounts of all the terror organizations should be annuled worldwide. Awesome experiences have been, as per our intelligence reports on the very fundings and the arms supplies to the various terror organizations in this world. What'er our Snowden's whistle-blowing activities, our intelligence agencies like CIA and NSA should act globally furnishing strategic secrets to our president and govt. as necessary steps can be taken to countering world terror, their funding channels as well as the arms supplies for making mankind safer.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs