A large Middle Eastern Bank is on trial in New York for allegedly funneling money to family members of terrorist suicide bombers. The Jordanian Arab Bank is alleged to have facilitated “martyr payments” to relatives of terrorists through its New York branch. The suit claims Arab Bank helped funnel money from insurance benefits provided by the Saudi Committee, a group that supported the Intifada, to the families of Palestinian terrorists who had become “martyrs” or been injured or captured by Israeli forces.
The complaint list five terrorist attacks in which Arab Bank allegedly funneled money to terrorists’ families.
One case involves John Linde Jr., who was killed along with two other security officers by an IED in northern Gaza as they were escorting U.S. diplomats to interview Palestinian candidates for Fulbright Scholarships in October 2003.
In another case, Tehilla Nathansen, just 3 years old, was killed while sitting on her mother’s lap on the No. 2 bus in Jerusalem in August of 2003. In another attack on a child, Jacob Mandell, an 8th-grader, was stoned to death, along with another friend, by Palestinians while he was hiking in May of 2001.
Originally filed in 2004, the suit is only now reaching trial because Arab Bank did everything they could to withhold information from the plaintiffs, lead attorney Gary Osen of Osen LLC told Business Insider.
If Arab Bank is found liable, a jury will determine the amount in damages the plaintiffs will receive.
Arab Bank contends that, though the plaintiffs allege the Saudi Committee sent money that supported Palestinian terror acts, the organization was never placed on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s list of prohibited parties. In addition, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer had said the group was in good standing with the government back in 2002.
In addition, the bank claims it did not choose the recipients of the money from the Saudi Committee. Arab Bank merely processed the transfers lawfully under existing commercial agreements, and the bank was acting in accordance with money laundering and terrorism regulations.
Jeff Newman represents whistleblowers