New York: A federal judge has signed a
default judgement finding Iran, the Taliban and al Qaeda
liable in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Judge George Daniels in Manhattan signed the judgement
yesterday, a week after hearing testimony in the 10-year-old
case. The signed ruling, which he promised last week, came in
a USD 100 billion lawsuit brought by family members of victims
of the attacks. He directed a magistrate judge to preside over
remaining issues, including fixing compensatory and punitive
Daniels signed findings of fact saying the plaintiffs had
established that the 2001 attacks were caused by the support
the defendants provided to al Qaeda. The findings also said
Iran continues to provide material support and resources to
al Qaeda by providing a safe haven for al Qaeda leadership and
rank-and-file al-Qaeda members.
During last week`s open-court hearing, family members of
September 11 victims sat through a four-hour presentation from
attorneys who cited evidence supporting their claims that Iran
actively assisted the hijackers of planes that crashed into
the World Trade Center towers, at the Pentagon and into a
field in Pennsylvania. Former members of the September 11
Commission and three Iranian defectors also spoke.
It would be near impossible to collect any damages,
especially from the Taliban or al Qaeda.
Iran has not commented on the ruling. Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly denied any Iranian
connection in the September 11 attacks or with al Qaeda. Saudi
Arabia had been knocked out of the lawsuit, but lawyers filed
papers today to reinstate Saudi Arabia as a defendant.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs did not immediately return
telephone calls seeking comment.