In Closing Arguments, Debating Arab Bank’s Responsibility to Identify Terrorists

New York Times
September 18, 2014
Stephanie Clifford

What should the role of a bank be when it is forced to operate in areas torn apart by terrorist attacks?

That was a central theme Thursday during closing arguments in a landmark terrorism-financing trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, pitting victims of terrorist attacks in the Middle East against Arab Bank.

“Who decides who’s a terrorist?” said Shand S. Stephens, a lawyer representing the bank, whose headquarters are in Jordan. “The plaintiffs have accused, by my count, over 150 people, and 12 charitable organizations, and the Saudi Committee, of being Hamas-associated terrorists. They admit, by the way, that there’s no publicly available list of members in Hamas. They’ve concluded that these people are terrorists, and you are to as well.”

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