The largest Jordanian bank, Arab Bank PLC, has been found liable for providing assistance to Hamas in a Brooklyn, New York trial. According to The American Lawyer, the verdict has resulted in a purported $1 billion plus settlement, subject to contingencies.
An attorney representing 500 victims of 24 terror attacks in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank from 2001 to 2004, during the Palestinian uprising known as the Second Intifada, stated
Arab Bank PLC moved tens of millions of dollars for the Islamist group Hamas knowing it was likely to use the money to finance violence.
This is the first U.S. jury verdict against a bank in a civil terrorism-finance case.
Gary Osen, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the case Linde v. Arab Bank, PLC, No. 10-4519 (2d Cir. 2013), described the verdict as a “milestone” and said other banks and clients would have to think twice about doing business with Arab Bank in the future. He further said
“This is the first institution ever found liable for knowingly supporting terrorism.”
The verdict potentially opens the door to more litigation under the Anti-terrorism Act of 1990, which gives U.S. victims of international terrorism recourse in federal court.
It puts banks on notice that they could face civil liability for doing business with clients regardless of whether the clients’ names appear on lists of alleged terrorists compiled by the U.S government. Several similar cases are pending.