Terrorism as an excuse for lawyers to loot global banks

New York Post
May 1, 2014
Norman Lamont

Can American trial lawyers use US courts to legally blackmail foreign banks? The US Solicitor General — to whom the Supreme Court has turned for advice — is now considering whether the justices should hear a case (Arab Bank v. Linde) about just that.

In 2004, American trial lawyers sued one of the Middle East’s oldest financial institutions, Jordan-based Arab Bank, on behalf of US victims of terror attacks within Israel and their families.

The civil suit claims the bank knowingly did business with terrorists and terror-linked charities, becoming a conduit for funds financing terrorist strikes.

The charge is unlikely, to put it mildly. Arab Bank has a long history of working with Israel. After the signing of the Oslo Accords, Israel used the bank to transfer tax revenues it had collected for the Palestinian Authority. During the intifada, it depended on the bank to act as a financial intermediary for western aid to the territories.

And for decades the bank has been the region’s leader in verifying that none of its accounts belong to terrorist interests, acting well before the US or Israel required. It cooperates fully with US criminal investigators and anti-terror authorities.

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