US justices seek advice over 9/11 case against banks

2013-12-16 22:29
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Washington - The US Supreme Court on Monday asked US President Barack Obama's administration to weigh in on whether victims of the 11 September 2001 attacks on New York could pursue claims against banks they have accused of indirectly helping Islamic militants.

The victims appealed after an April ruling by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals that complaints against banks and entities accused of indirectly aiding the perpetrators could be dismissed.

Those victims included family members of nearly 3 000 people who died in the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Centre.

The bank defendants dismissed by the ruling include Al Rajhi Bank, Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami Trust, Dallah Al Baraka Group LLC and Saudi American Bank, now known as Samba Financial group.

Separately, the appeals court also dismissed several individuals and companies from the case.

The appeals court said allegations against the banks over material support for terrorism could go ahead if there was a more direct relationship between the bank and a particular militant action.

The case before the high court is just one element of the multi-district litigation filed by victims against a wide range of defendants.

The attacks were orchestrated by Osama bin Laden under the auspices of the al-Qaeda militant group.

The US military killed Bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011.

The court said Justice Elena Kagan had recused herself from the case, presumably because of her previous role as solicitor general under Obama.

Once the Obama administration files a brief in the case, the court will decide whether to hear it. The court term runs through late June.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  barack obama  |  us  |  9/11

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