A Brooklyn district judge on Wednesday rejected a bid by Jordan-based Arab Bank to overturn a verdict by a jury that found it liable for supporting terrorism against Israelis.
The bank was originally sued by the victims of 24 terror attacks in Israel that have been blamed on the Palestinian terror group Hamas. The plaintiffs accused Arab Bank of providing Hamas with material and financial support. The case marked the first time in U.S. history that a bank stood trial over charges stemming from the Anti-Terrorism Act, which enables American victims of U.S.-designated foreign terror groups to seek compensation.
The jury’s verdict last September “was based on volumes of damning circumstantial evidence that [the] defendant knew its customers were terrorists,” U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan said Wednesday in a ruling relating to post-trial motions, calling Arab Bank “willfully blind” to the Hamas ties of charities it had routed money to. But the judge did dismiss a pair of claims relating to two of the 24 terror attacks included in the lawsuit, citing insufficient evidence that Hamas had orchestrated those attacks.
The court’s opinion “confirms that there was overwhelming evidence of the defendant’s having knowing provided material support to Hamas,” said Gary Osen, an attorney for several of the victims, Reuters reported. On July 13, Judge Cogan will preside over a hearing to determine the financial damages Arab Bank must pay for the three of the attacks.