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These cases are brought on behalf of victims of international terrorist attacks against foreign terrorist organizations, foreign governments that sponsor terrorism, and individuals and entities that aid and abet terrorist organizations and attacks.


The cases are filed under 28 U.S.C. 1605A(c) (the “terrorism exception” to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act), 18 U.S.C. 2333(a)-(d) (the Anti Terrorism Act), and various state law causes of action. The plaintiffs are American victims of international terrorist attacks as well as their family members. For this reason, each case typically involves multiple plaintiffs.

There are certain avenues available to plaintiffs with these judgments: 


U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund (“VSST”)

This Department of Justice administered compensation fund is available to claimants who hold judgments arising under 28 U.S.C. 1605A(c). The money in the VSST comes from forfeited funds and property paid to the US government as criminal or civil penalties arising from certain sanctions violations or transactions with state sponsors of terrorism. The VSST does not include plaintiffs’ punitive damages and/or pre-judgment interest in their award eligibility.


Terrorism Risk Insurance Act ("TRIA"), § 201(a)

TRIA provides that a victim of terrorism who has obtained a judgment against a terrorist party may attach “the blocked assets of that terrorist party (including the blocked assets of any agency or instrumentality of that terrorist party).” Thus, as with TRIA, plaintiffs can pursue an attachment under this section if they could demonstrate that the targeted assets were “of Iran,” or “of” one of its agencies or instrumentalities. While we have not yet initiated any TRIA enforcement actions in any of the nine (9) cases discussed below, we anticipate using it as a tool to supplement VSST satisfaction of these judgments. 


Anti Terrorism Act ("ATA"), 18 U.S.C. 2333(d)

The Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) allows American victims of international terrorism to sue the foreign terrorist organization that sponsors, plans, or perpetrates the attacks, as well as individuals and entities that aid and abet the foreign terrorist organization. Under the aiding and abetting provision of the ATA, victims can sue banks, charities, corporations, individuals, and other entities that participate in planning, funding, or carrying out attacks.

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