Congress Acts to Hold Terrorist-Funding Banks Responsible
On October 3, 2018, President Trump signed “The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018” into law, which held the support of both houses of Congress and over 50,000 veterans and Gold Star families. This law closes an unintentional loophole in the Antiterrorism Act of 1992, which allowed foreign banks caught funding State Sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran, to escape paying claims to Gold Star families, veterans, and American civilians harmed in terrorist attacks directed and funded by Iran with US dollars illegally provided by a dozen foreign banks.
Since over half of U.S. casualties in Iraq can be tied to these foreign banks’ illegal funding, the bipartisan support of the new law is crucial for ensuring justice for U.S. victims of terrorism. These foreign banks have previously used the loophole by arguing that acts by terrorists were “legitimate acts of war,” escaping liability for profiting from conspiring with Iran to violate US law. The 2018 law clarifies this point: Congress is now on record with a clear statement that American service members have the same protections under the Anti-Terrorism Act as all American citizens, and those conspiring with known rogue states funding the terrorists and targeting Americans will be forced to face victims in court.
Embassy Bombing Victims Cheer Congressional Action on Compensation
Victims of the East African Embassy Bombings praised Congress for including a provision in the recently-introduced omnibus spending bill that provides compensation to U.S. embassy employees and citizens injured in the 1998 bombings and to families of those killed.
Survivors and families of those killed in the 1998 al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania have received no prior compensation, leaving many families destitute. Along with providing an extension of the 9-11 Victims Compensation Fund, the omnibus uses money seized from terrorists to fund a new compensation program for all U.S. victims of terror, including the 1998 embassy bombings, Beirut bombings, Iran hostages, and others.
9-11 & Other Victims of Terrorist Attacks on America Encourage Congress to Pass Compensation Package
Victims of the East African Embassy Bombings, Beirut Bombings, and Iran Hostages joined victims of 9-11 in applauding Congress for including all victims of terrorist attacks against America in victim compensation legislation expected to pass this year. As key members of Congress finalize legislation to reauthorize the 9-11 Victims Compensation Fund, victims expressed gratitude for the comprehensive approach to supporting all victims of terror in the House bill and expressed optimism that the Senate will ensure any final deal provided support for all victims. Most victims of terrorist attacks on the U.S., such as the East African Embassy employees, have received no compensation for their injuries or support for families of those killed. The victims are optimistic that this compensation section of the House bill will be included in the final deal, providing support for survivors and families of those killed by using money seized from terrorist dollars to fund it.
Because this would expand compensation beyond only 9-11 victims, Congress can access nearly $4 billion from the fine paid by BNP Paribas from money laundering for the 1998 Embassy Bombings and other terrorist attacks.