Iran, Hizbullah, Al-Qaeda Should Pay $6b for 9/11, Judge Rules
A federal magistrate judge has ruled that al Qaeda, the Taliban, Iran and Hizbullah should pay more than $6 billion in damages to the families of victims killed on September 11, 2001, CNN reported.
The recommendation is largely symbolic as it would be nearly impossible to collect any damages.
Federal Magistrate Judge Frank Maas made the ruling Monday, after federal Judge George Daniels decided last year that the terrorist groups and the Iranian regime were liable because of their support for the attacks,.
The initial filing made in 2003 had identified Iraq for its purported role in supporting the attacks, though attorneys withdrew it as a defendant when authorities later considered those claims unfounded.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denied any Iranian connection in the attacks, just as he denies the regime’s aspirations in acquiring nuclear weapons.
The 9/11 Commission Report mentions contact between al Qaeda and Iran-supported Hizbullah terrorists, which are based largely in southern Lebanon.
The report also pointed to Iranian border inspectors who were told not to stamp the passports of al Qaeda members and who had facilitated the travel of the would-be hijackers, CNN reported.
However, the report also stated that "we have found no evidence that Iran or Hizbullah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack."
In October, 2011, Judge Maas determined that al Qaeda should face $9.3 billion in penalties for the businesses and properties destroyed and damaged in the 2001 attacks.