Friday, August 03, 2012

Why Judge Included Iran With Al Qaeda In $6 Billion 9/11 Lawsuit Award

While it is questionable whether they will end up receiving anything, a judge has awarded $6 billion in a 9/11 lawsuit against Al Qaeda and Iran:
A judge Monday awarded 9/11 relatives $6 billion in their suit targeting Al Qaeda and silent partner Iran for complicity in the heinous plot that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Manhattan Federal Magistrate Judge Frank Maas’ ruling is the first to hit those responsible for the attacks with civil penalties, which would be due to 110 survivors and to the estates of 47 victims that are parties to the suit.
This is the followup to last year when Judge George Daniels signed the default judgement against Al Qaeda and Iran:
Daniels signed findings of fact saying the plaintiffs had established that the 2001 attacks were caused by the support the defendants provided to al Qaeda. The findings also said Iran continues to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda by providing a safe haven for al Qaeda leadership and rank-and-file al Qaeda members.

During last week's open-court hearing, family members of Sept. 11 victims sat through a four-hour presentation from attorneys who cited evidence supporting their claims that Iran actively assisted the hijackers of planes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers, at the Pentagon and into a field in Pennsylvania. Former members of the Sept. 11 Commission and three Iranian defectors also spoke.
Janice Kephart, who served as counsel to the 9/11 Commission and blogs for the Center For Immigration Studies, writes about the evidence pointing to Iranian involvement in 9/11:
Much of the material witness testimony in the case comes from three Iranian defectors whose affidavits remained under seal during the course of the case.

What we do know publicly is that Iran and Hezbollah not only provided terrorist travel assistance for the 9/11 hijackers to travel through Iran to attend Afghan terror training camps, but also that Hezbollah's most senior operational leader, and chief liaison with Iran, Imad Mughniyah – and other Hezbollah operatives – traveled with the 9/11 hijackers in and out of Lebanon and in and out of Iran after these same hijackers had been issued visas to visit the United States. The purpose of the hijackers' travel into Iran after acquiring U.S. visas was made clear by Iranian defector testimony under seal. The defectors, in turn, were vetted by two CIA veterans who reviewed numerous of hours of tape to determine the credibility of persons who stated they had knowledge of Iran's involvement in 9/11, including those claiming to have participated in planning meetings in Iran with other Iranian officials on executing the terrorist plot that became 9/11. The CIA veterans concluded that the three defectors were both credible and substantial witnesses.
In fact, Kephart was originally supposed to testify at that hearing. In the end, based on the credibility and expertise of the witnesses, the judge relied on an open dialogue with the attorneys themselves.

In her affidavit, Kephart gives a more complete explanation of the support both Iran and Hezbollah provided to facilitate the travel of the terrorists in order to help them carry out the 9/11 attacks.

Kephart's affidavit is available online.
An embedded copy of  the affadavit is below.

The attorney's brief of Fiona Havlish v. Usama Bin Laden is also available online.

Like I wrote above, it is questionable whether the plaintiffs in the case will be able to collect anything.
However, besides bringing a degree of closure, this case also lends further substantiation to the extent of Iran's role as a leading exporter and facilitator of terrorism--as we most recently saw in the apparent Iranian involvement in the murder of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

(click here for full screen view)

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