WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This news release is being issued by the Fay Kaplan Law Firm, Washington, D.C.:
Survivors and families of those killed in the twin 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania today filed a $2.4 billion lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against French banking giant BNP Paribas and several of its subsidiaries for the bank’s role in financing the al Qaeda and Hezbollah- backed terrorist events, which killed 224 and injured more than 4000.
The lawsuit maintains that by circumventing U.S. sanctions on Sudan, BNP Paribas S.A. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, BNP Paribas North America, Inc. and BNP Paribas (Suisse) S.A. “knowingly and intentionally” provided al Qaeda and Hezbollah with “money, material support, and resources” that enable the terrorist groups to plan and execute the bombing in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya on August 7, 1998. The suit charges that behavior violates the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) (18 USC § 2333). The ATA permits victims killed or injured by acts of terror against Americans to collect treble damages. Among other things, the Act is aimed at thwarting support for terrorist organizations, which it defines as Specially Designated Nationals.
The suit alleges “…the Defendants…conspired together and with each other, with the government of Sudan, banks and other entities controlled by Sudan as well as with terrorist organizations operating in Sudan, including Hezbollah and al Qaeda, to intentionally and willfully move millions of dollars through the U.S. financial system on behalf of these sanctioned entities in violation of U.S. sanctions laws…”
The suit also states that on July 9, 2014, BNP Paribas “pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of new York to one count felony Information alleging Conspiracy to Violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act…”
“By admitting to violating U.S. sanctions laws, BNP Paribas clearly transferred billions of dollars through U.S. banks on behalf of Sudan and other U.S. sanctioned countries. We intend to prove that some of that money went to terrorist organizations that ultimately killed and injured US citizens and others in the Kenya and Tanzania bombings,” said Thomas Fay, lead attorney for the Plaintiffs, “that violates, among other laws, the U.S. Anti-terrorism Act,” he continued.
Mr. Fay concluded, “Anybody who uses financial slights of hand to profit from supporting terrorism should realize that shell games are for entertainment. There’s nothing entertaining about terrorism financing.”
There are 68 Plaintiffs in this suit against BNP Paribas and its subsidiaries.
The case is James Owens v BNP Paribas, SA