Posts Tagged ‘Arab Bank PLC’

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10 biggest terror finance news stories of 2015

January 4, 2016
  1. Funding of Paris attacks

The November 2015 attackers paid for $32,000 worth of pre-attack operations including hotel lodging and car rentals through anonymous prepaid cards purchased in Belgium. Payments were loaded in small increments; rules for prepaid cards allow for reloading up to $2,500 without identity verification. Although the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is responsible for the attacks and the training of several attackers, the precise source of the $32,000 is less clear. Money for travel appears to have become available after a stopover in Greece.

  1. Nuclear deal will release billions to Iran

The nuclear agreement that President Obama signed will release $100 billion to $150 billion of frozen assets to Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism. Hopefully the asset thaw will get gummed up in court while attorneys seek to collect the compensation that is owed to the victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism first.

  1. Wahhabi funding monarch takes power

Saudi Arabia has crowned a new king, Salman bin Abdulaziz, who started his career in public service by bankrolling the exportation of radical Wahhabism throughout the Islamic world. We will be contending with well-funded terrorist groups for as long as men such as Salman rule Arabia.

  1. Coalition bombs ISIS oil fields

According to news reports, the U.S. is increasing pressure against ISIS’s financial assets by bombing oil fields in their territory. If true, the bombing means that the Obama administration has begun to recognize that it is worth destroying oil infrastructure to deprive ISIS of funding even if it means it will be harder to rebuild the infrastructure when and if ISIS retreats.

  1. Son of terror victim sues wire transfer company

The son of a slain Somali politician and singing star is suing the money transfer company Dahabshiil for its alleged involvement in issuing a bounty for the singer’s murder. Saado Ali Warsame had sung a song denouncing Dahabshiil as a financier of terror and a profiteer from inter-tribal conflict.

  1. Jihadists in Yemen fund Charlie Hebdo assassins

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) gave $20,000 to future Charlie Hebdo attacker Said Kouachi before he and his brother left Yemen in August 2011. The foreign funding helps explain how a group of underemployed ex-cons were able to buy AK-47s for their January 2015 attacks and pay for Said Kouachi’s international travels.

  1. PA and PLO owe damages for terror attacks

A jury found the Palestinian Authority and the PLO liable for terrorist attacks with American victims in the early 2000s, with damages set at $656 million in Sokolow v. PLO. A federal judge set $10 million bond while the PA and PLO appeal.

  1. Taliban takes control of more turf

The Washington Post reports that the Taliban has taken control or maintains a significant presence in 30 percent of Afghanistan—the most territory it has occupied since 2001. The problem with this from a financial standpoint is that the Taliban lives off the land. One of their primary sources of income is taxation on commercial activity in the areas they control. More turf means more money.

  1. Arab Bank settles with terror victims

Arab Bank PLC provided client services to Hamas affiliates which funded terrorist attacks against Israel. After years of lawsuits, the settlement was reached between the bank and American victims of these terrorist attacks, possibly for $1 billion. Together with the Sokolow, these cases show that legal tactics can be used effectively to hit terrorists where it hurts: their wallets.

  1. Debt-financing of San Bernadino attack

Syed Rizwan Farook took out a $28,000 debt consolidation loan weeks before waging an assault against his victims. This method of financing attacks is particularly popular among jihadists living in Western countries where easy credit is, well, easy.

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Hamas-funding bank wins one appeal

December 16, 2015

Arab Bank PLC had to settle with the victims of terrorist attacks that it helped fund.  But Arab Bank has won an appeal in a separate but related case.  One of the laws used by lawyers who seek compensation for the victims of human rights abuses or terrorism overseas is the Alien Tort Statute.  An appellate court has sided with a lower court that the ATS does not apply in this particular case.  This is an unfortunate development in the legal fight to bankrupt terrorism, but there are still other legal recourses available.

From Courthouse News last week:

MANHATTAN (CN) – Months after Arab Bank settled an anti-terrorism lawsuit filed by U.S. citizens, the Second Circuit refused today to revive a different case the bank faced by foreigners whose families were maimed or killed in attacks on Israel.

Following suicide bombings on Israeli civilians between 2000 and 2004, families of the victims brought lawsuits in U.S. federal courts against Arab Bank and other institutions they accused of supporting terrorists.

The U.S. citizen victims won a verdict holding Arab Bank liable for the attacks last year, and then reached a confidential settlement with the Amman, Jordan-based bank days before the start of another trial to determine damages.

Still keeping mum on those terms, the bank contests reports that it agreed to pay the families $1 billion.

Arab Bank still faced a lawsuit in Manhattan by foreign citizens killed in those attacks, but the Second Circuit ruled Tuesday that this case fails under the Alien Tort Statute…

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Arab Bank settles over terror finance damages

September 7, 2015

Jordan-based Arab Bank PLC has settled on an amount to pay in damages to the families of terror victims.  The bank was found liable in 2014 for helping process transactions for Hamas that facilitated terrorist attacks.  The amount of the settlement wasn’t disclosed, but Arab Bank previously offered $12 million in a deal rejected by the judge.

From The New York Times last month (h/t El Grillo):

Arab Bank Reaches Settlement in Suit Accusing It of Financing Terrorism

Three days before a first-of-its-kind damages trial was supposed to start, a Middle Eastern bank has reached a settlement with hundreds of American plaintiffs, including victims of terrorist attacks around Israel, who had filed a lawsuit against the bank accusing it of supporting terrorism.

A spokesman for the bank, Arab Bank, and a spokeswoman for one of the law firms representing the plaintiffs confirmed on Friday that an agreement had been reached but declined to offer additional details, including the amount of the settlement.

Last year, a jury in Federal District Court in Brooklyn found Arab Bank liable for financing terrorism by processing transactions for members of the militant Islamic group Hamas.

The second phase of the trial, assessing the damages Arab Bank would have to pay to some victims of attacks by Hamas, was scheduled to start on Monday.

All of the plaintiffs are American victims of Hamas attacks or relatives of people who were killed…

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Terror finance predictions for 2015

January 1, 2015
  • Counter-terror attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner says that a jury trial will begin in January for the Sokolow v. Palestinian Liberation Organization. The case is notable in that it takes on the Palestinian Authority itself in addition to the PLO, and could set the precedent for further lawsuits to help de-fund the PA and PLO by terrorist victims’ families.
  • A trial to set damages for Arab Bank PLC’s role in financing terrorism is scheduled to begin in May (h/t Sal). Arab Bank wanted to skip the trial and settle for $12 million, but U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan ruled that a trial would be a more useful starting point.
  • NYU professor Maha Hosain Aziz predicts that lone wolf Islamist terrorist attacks will increase, requiring closer monitoring of social media by law enforcement (h/t Don). Money Jihad predicts that public officials will cite these increased lone wolf attacks as an excuse for why they fail to interdict terrorist funds. They will claim that self-financed attacks are harder to detect than transactions across terrorist financial networks.
  • Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford says Afghan forces will be “tested” by the Taliban in 2015. As Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq indicated, leaving inadequate forces to combat terrorists can lead to their financial resurgence as it did with ISIS. This looks even more ominous when coupled with the Pakistani Taliban’s “stockpiling” of cash through extortion and kidnap-for-ransom schemes in 2014.
  • The FC Barcelona soccer team will not renew its sponsorship deal with Qatar in 2015 over terror finance concerns.
  • Finally, increased cyber-attacks and cyber-theft are always a safe bet. McAfee Labs predicts that “Small nation states and foreign terror groups will take to cyberspace to conduct warfare against their enemies” and increased ransomware attacks in 2015.

Money Jihad predictions last year for 2014 were somewhat prescient, including the projection that Narendra Modi would move against illicit finance if elected as prime minister of India, which he was and which he did, and that ransomware would develop into a larger cyber-security threat. But our predictions that Congress would declassify 28 redacted pages of its report into 9/11, and that Congress would tighten sanctions on Iran proved to be off.

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10 biggest terror finance news stories of 2014

December 30, 2014
  1. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria rebounded from a weaker financial position to amass $3 billion in annual income after taking over Fallujah in January and Mosul in June. Its diversified portfolio makes ISIS the world’s best funded terror group. Western allies are trying to cut off ISIS’s money, but admit that the best case scenario is that ISIS will run out of cash on its own.
  2. Treasury undersecretary David Cohen announced in March that “Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally, has for many years openly financed Hamas,” and that it is financing terrorists in Syria. These comments were followed up by former MI6 spy chief Richard Dearlove’s statement in July that “substantial and sustained funding” for ISIS comes from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. At least 5 but probably dozens more prominent Qataris are involved in the financial pipeline to Al Qaeda affiliates.
  3. The 4,500 rockets fired by Hamas toward Israel from July to August were financed and supplied by Iran and Qatar, further calling into question the wisdom of Iranian nuclear negotiations and periodic U.S. communications through Qatari diplomats for outreach to the Taliban.
  4. A ban from Israel and a designation as a terrorist entity by the U.A.E. made 2014 an annus horribilus for Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW). The world’s largest Islamic charity was also tarnished by revelations that its German subsidiary has worked with a Hamas-connected charity in Syria and that IRW’s U.S. subsidiary, IR-USA, was documented to have given $118,000 to terror-linked groups.
  5. Turkey’s role in financing terrorism spilled out into public view after paying $800 million to ISIS for oil. Turkey’s 2014 corruption scandal also revealed the extent of their involvement in Iranian sanctions evasion. Turkish president Erdogan’s support for Al Qaeda financier Yasin al-Qadi led his removal from U.S. terror blacklists.
  6. Arab Bank was found liable in Linde v. Arab Bank, PLC in September for funding 24 terrorist attacks by Hamas. The case sets a powerful legal precedent for victims’ families to seek justice against Middle Eastern banks involved in financing terror.
  7. A bill to declassify 28 pages of a Congressional report into 9/11 gained 20 new co-sponsors in 2014. The redactions deal with money given by Saudi officials and agents to the hijackers.
  8. Sharia banker and Islamist militant financier Mir Quasem Ali was sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal in November for 8 torture sessions he oversaw against Bangladeshis in 1971. Ali’s involvement highlighted the intersection between Saudi money, violent Islamist groups, and sharia-compliant banking.
  9. Boko Haram kidnapped 200 girls in April, possibly for financial reasons, as suggested by Boko Haram’s demands for a ransom from the Nigerian government and from the girls’ families. Other motives include sex and household work and the prospect of money and prisoner swaps.
  10. An outspoken singer and fierce critic of terror finance, Saado Ali Warsame, was slain in Somalia in July. Warsame previously called upon fellow Somalis to refrain from using the remittance company Dahabshiil because of the firm’s role in funding terrorism. Warsame alleged before her death that the company offered a contract for her assassination.

Newer Money Jihad readers may also want to look back at our biggest stories of 2013, 2012, and 2011 to see how the threats are evolving over time.

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Obama allows trial but undermines terror finance case against Arab Bank

June 6, 2014

The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to turn away an appeal by Arab Bank involving rulings by a lower court.

The U.S. Solicitor General said that the terror financing case against Arab Bank can proceed to trial without its immediate appeal being heard, but essentially sabotaged such a trial by claiming that multiple errors were made in lower court rulings, including the failure to consider the foreign policy impact of the case with respect to Jordan. This argument gives Arab Bank the ammunition it will need for a future appeal if jurors find against the bank at trial.  The solicitor general’s position demonstrates the influence that the U.S. State Department, which sides with Arab Bank, has brought to bear.

Rather than equipping Arab Bank with a legal defense, the bank and Jordan should be held accountable for funding suicide bombers and conspiring to cover it up.

Read reports on the latest development in this case from the Jerusalem Post, New York Times, and Reuters (hat tip to Dr. Karolina Lula).

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Kerry sides with Jordanian bank against terror victims

April 11, 2014

So committed is he to the illusory peace process between Israel and its neighbors that John Kerry’s State Department is siding with Jordan’s Arab Bank in pushing for legal relief from a terrorist financing lawsuit in New York.

At the heart of the case is Arab Bank’s refusal to turn over documents that would provide further detail about the transactions it helped facilitate for Hamas. Arab Bank has cited bank secrecy laws as the reason for its recalcitrance. Jordan has argued on behalf of the bank, making thinly veiled threats that it may not support the peace process with Israel if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t intervene to provide relief to Arab Bank from the rulings against it.

According to recent reporting by New York Times, “The State Department’s arguments appear to closely track those made by the government of Jordan.”

The intervention of the State Department represents a setback to progress that victims of Hamas terrorism appeared to be making last year in the case against Arab Bank.

Suing terrorist organizations and the banks that assist them has become an increasingly utilized tactic in the West to help gradually de-fund terror groups. Kerry doesn’t appear to be on board with that strategy.

Acknowledgment:  Thanks to Twitter user Mean Kitteh for notifying us of the NYT report.

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Case can proceed against terror-funding bank

January 22, 2013

Progress made as court rejects bank’s appeal

Arab Bank’s refusal to turn over records has been a major obstacle in the Linde v. Arab Bank terrorist financing case.  To move beyond the legal stalemate, the presiding judge said the jury could infer what it wants to about Arab Bank’s secrecy.  The bank appealed the judge’s jury instruction to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  The appellate court ruled Friday that it had no standing to review the case at this time (h/t @ChallahHuAkbar), and that there’s nothing drastic enough about the judge’s instruction to cause the circuit court to intervene.

From Bloomberg:

Arab Bank Sanctions Order Appeal Dismissed by U.S. Court

Arab Bank Plc (ARBK)’s appeal of sanctions for not obeying discovery orders in a lawsuit brought by victims of terrorist attacks was dismissed by a federal appeals court in New York.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today that it couldn’t hear the bank’s appeal of a sanctions order imposed by U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon in Brooklyn until after the consolidated suits pending before her have ended.

“We conclude that the sanctions order is not a reviewable collateral order, and we therefore dismiss the bank’s appeal for want of jurisdiction,” the panel of judges said.

“We conclude further, that this is not an appropriate case for issuance of the extraordinary writ,” the appeals court said, adding, “the bank has not established (among other factors) that it has a ‘clear and indisputable right’ to such drastic relief or that review after final judgment will not provide adequate relief.”

Courtney Linde, the widow of John Linde Jr., who was killed Oct. 15, 2003, while guarding diplomats traveling in the Gaza Strip, sued in federal court in Brooklyn in 2004. She is the lead plaintiff for a half-dozen families suing the Amman, Jordan-based lender in cases that allege it “knowingly and purposefully supported” foreign terrorist organizations between 1995 and 2004 by providing financial support. The bank has denied wrongdoing.

Sanctions Imposed

The judge imposed sanctions upon the bank for not complying with several court orders to produce documents the plaintiffs said were relevant to their case. Gershon’s sanctions took the form of a jury instruction that would permit — but not require — the jury to infer from the bank’s failure to produce the documents that it provided financial services to foreign terrorist groups and did so knowingly.

Gershon also precluded the bank from introducing for the jury’s consideration certain evidence related to undisclosed materials.

The bank argued that the sanctions were “unduly harsh,” that jury instructions would predetermine the outcome of the case, and that the documents are covered by foreign bank secrecy laws, so that their disclosure would subject the bank to criminal prosecution.

Ten similar suits brought against the bank by the families of dozens of victims of other attacks in Israel were consolidated and are pending before Gershon. She hasn’t yet determined whether any of those cases will go to trial.

‘Substantially Right’

“We think they got it substantially right,” Gary Osen, a lawyer for some of the plaintiffs, said in a phone interview about the decision to dismiss the appeal. “It just means these cases can go forward. All we ask for is our day in court.”

Bob Chlopak, a spokesman for Arab Bank, said in an e-mail that the ruling is “not an endorsement of the district court’s sanctions.”

“The bank continues to believe that the district court’s sanctions order raises serious issues of international concern, and it is currently weighing its legal options,” he said.

The bank, Jordan’s largest, won dismissal in November of a separate case filed by former Israeli government official Mati Gill, which alleged that the lender supported the group Hamas. Gill, who was injured in a 2008 by a shot fired from Gaza, a territory bordering Israel, sought damages from the bank…

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Sharia banks that fund terrorism

January 7, 2013

The connections between ethical finance and violent extremism

The relationship is simple.  Jihadists know they can trust sharia-compliant banks to maintain their anonymity, not ask too many questions, and facilitate high-dollar transactions on behalf of their terrorist groups.  Some Islamic financial institutions, such as National Commercial Bank and Islami Bank Bangladesh, have taken the relationship a step farther by donating a portion of their bank profits in the form of zakat as an act of corporate “charity” to terrorist organizations, or in the case of Al Rajhi, through private zakat donations of leading bankers.  Saudi Arabia and Iran are key bases for these activities, but this is a global phenomenon.  Here’s Money Jihad’s short list of the worst offenders:

Al Rajhi Bank:  The Saudi financial institution has served as the sharia bank of choice for the world’s jihadists, including East Africa embassy bomber Mamduh Mahmud Salim, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, and organizations like Indonesian Kompak and Al-Haramain.  Bank co-founder Sulaiman Al-Rajhi appeared on the infamous Golden Chain document of Al Qaeda financiers.  These allegations were reinforced by the recent U.S. Senate investigation into HSBC’s correspondent relationships.

Al Shamal Islamic Bank:  Osama Bin Laden co-founded the Al Shamal in Sudan and invested $50 million there.  During the 1990s and early 2000s, Al Qaeda distributed money to its cells through Al Shamal.  Funds passed through Al Shamal were used in preparation for terrorist attacks.

National Commercial Bank:  Offering conventional and sharia banking services, Saudi Arabia’s self-described first, largest, and most prominent bank is NCB.  Among other misdeeds, a Saudi audit revealed that NCB transferred $74 million in the 1990s as zakat through its charitable front organizations to Al Qaeda (see here, here, and here).  Khalid bin Mahfouz, the head of the bank, exploited libel laws to sue author Rachel Ehrenfeld in an effort to silence accusations about his role in financing terrorism.

Arab Bank:  This conventional bank in Jordan maintains a wholly-owned subsidiary (Islamic International Arab Bank PLC) that offers full-range sharia services.  Arab Bank has transferred money on behalf of Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP), a notorious French charity, to a known financial subunit of Hamas.  The Jordanian bank has paid out insurance benefits to families of suicide bombers for the Saudi Committee—another charity that funds Hamas.  Arab Bank has handled transactions for the Holy Land Foundation, whose leaders now sit behind bars for financing terrorism.  It has been the subject of American investigations, but the bank has consistently refused to turn over related documents to the U.S.

Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited:  IBBL, Bangladesh’s biggest sharia bank, has handled Wahhabi accounts to propagate radical Islam since its inception.  In 2011, the Bangladeshi home ministry intelligence revealed that 8 percent of the bank’s profits were diverted as corporate zakat to support jihad in Bangladesh.  One of the men on IBBL’s board of sharia advisors was arrested in connection with a terrorist attack against Bangladeshi police officers.  The U.S. Senate slammed British bank giant HSBC for maintaining relationships with IBBL despite evidence that it served terrorists like Shaikh Abdur Rahman of Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh and terror-funding Islamic charities like IIRO.  The Senate’s report also implicated HSBC for disregarding evidence of terror financing at another Bangladeshi sharia bank with whom it worked:  Social Islami Bank.

Bank Melli:  The Iranian Islamic bank sent “at least $100 million to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard branch that supports Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups, the Quds Force” between 2002-06.

Bank Saderat:  Another major Iranian sharia finance house, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned the rocket-funding Bank Saderat, stating that “The bank is used by the Government of Iran to transfer money to terrorist organizations, including Hizballah, Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. A notable example of this is a Hizballah-controlled organization that has received $50 million directly from Iran through Bank Saderat since 2001.”

Other culprits include Dubai Islamic Bank, which is active in both the U.A.E. and Pakistan, and Tadamon Islamic Bank.

So much for “ethical finance.”  For further developments, please continue reading Money Jihad, Shariah Finance Watch, and @moneyjihad on Twitter.

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Arab Bank escapes justice in terror finance case

November 27, 2012

The judge’s ruling can be paraphrased as:  Well, Arab Bank may have funded terrorism, but you can’t prove it (because they won’t turn over their documents).  And even if you could prove it, that doesn’t mean the money that the bank gave terrorists directly led to your injuries.

The gentleman who was injured, God bless him, will appeal the decision.  As a refresher, here is Arab Bank’s history:

  • Arab Bank has transferred money on behalf of Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP), a notorious French charity, to a known financial subunit of Hamas.
  • Arab Bank paid out insurance benefits to families of suicide bombers for the Saudi Committee—another charity that funds Hamas.
  • Arab Bank handled transactions by the Holy Land Foundation, whose leaders now sit behind bars for financing terrorism.
  • Arab Bank used its New York branch to facilitate these payments.
  • Arab Bank refused to turn over bank documents to the court.

See here and here for prior coverage.

From American Banker magazine on Nov. 15:

Arab Bank Wins Bid to Dismiss Terrorist Financing Suit

A lawsuit by an American man who sought to hold Arab Bank responsible for injuries he sustained in a sniper attack in Israel cannot go forward, a federal judge in Brooklyn has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein of the eastern district of New York ruled on Nov. 6 that Matt Gill, a citizen of both the U.S. and Israel, cannot hold the bank liable for Gill’s being shot in 2008 while standing inside Israel’s borders in an area overlooking the Gaza Strip…

…Though Gill charged Arab Bank with providing material support to Hamas in violation of U.S. law, the court ruled he failed to establish the bank bore legal responsibility for causing his injuries, either by its own actions or in a conspiracy with Hamas.

“Hamas is not the defendant; the bank is,” Weinstein wrote in a Nov. 6 ruling that dismissed the case. “And the evidence does not prove that the bank acted with an improper state of mind or proximately caused plaintiff’s injury.

The ruling comes amid a series of lawsuits filed in Brooklyn federal court that charge Arab Bank with aiding Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007. Taken together, the cases test how far banks must go to vet customers for ties to terror groups.

“This is the first Arab Bank case where the court has evaluated the entire record, and it dismissed the case concluding that the Bank was not responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries,” bank spokesman Bob Chlopak said in an email.

In his suit, Gill charged the bank with providing financial services to Hamas through a series of groups, charities and people affiliated with the organization.

The court, however, found the alleged connections among the entities and individuals to whom Gil pointed and Hamas either without basis or sufficiently attenuated to warrant a finding the bank funneled money to Hamas that could have helped to finance the 2008 attack.

Though Gill alleged the bank processed roughly 157 transactions on behalf of people allegedly affiliated with Hamas over a roughly four-year period beginning in December 2000, the court concluded he failed to show the transactions accounted for a sufficient enough share of the hundreds of thousands of transactions Arab Bank cleared through its New York office annually or that the bank knew the transactions could result in harm to an American four years later.

“No single or total transfer highlighted by plaintiff establishes the requisite magnitude and temporal connection to the attack required to find that the bank’s actions proximately caused plaintiff’s injuries,” Weinstein ruled.

According to the ruling, the bank’s New York office, without admitting wrongdoing, agreed to pay $24 million in 2004 to settle charges by the U.S. government the bank had failed to monitor suspicious fund transfers.

For his part, Gill says the court erred by not ordering the bank to turn over records of transactions in the three years that preceded the attack. The bank had contended that laws in Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories that govern the confidentiality of transactions prevented it from producing the material.

Gill, who plans to appeal the ruling, asserts “the court erred in refusing to attach probative weight to the defendant’s complete withholding of those records,” Gary Osen, a lawyer for Gill, said in an email.

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Jordan puts money where mouth bites

December 13, 2010

According to the Wall Street Journal, Jordan has escalated its efforts to lobby senior U.S. officials to save Arab Bank’s hide from terror finance litigation in American courts.  For the moment, the U.S. is standing firm in resisting Jordanian efforts.

Wonder why Jordan is going to such lengths to protect Arab Bank from litigation over terrorist financing?  There’s a semi-official, almost understandable explanation that Jordan wants to protect the bank’s financial interests by reassuring account holders that information about their transactions will not be released to foreign governments.

There’s another possible explanation.  Jordanians enjoy giving money to Hamas.  They want to continue giving money to Hamas.  They like Hamas.  And they don’t want the money flow shut down.

Public opinion data recently released by the Pew Research Center (see here for our earlier Pew coverage) show that 60 percent of Jordanians approve of Hamas:

Chart on Jordan poll results

60% of Jordanians favor Hamas

That probably means that 60 percent of Arab Bank’s managers and employees approve of Hamas.  And they’ve been busy acting in behalf of their customers and their own biases.

Arab Bank transferred money on behalf of the Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP), the notorious Islamic charity in France, to the Ramallah al-Bireh zakat committee—a known financial subunit of Hamas.  Arab Bank also transferred money to Ramallah al-Bireh in large quantities from Jordan itself.  Arab Bank also transferred money from Saudi Arabia to the Saudi Committee—another committee established to fund Hamas.

If the Pew findings are any indication, Jordan may not be protecting Arab Bank for the money, but for the love.