A federal judge in New York ruled last week that the Iranian regime is liable for damages in the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.
The ruling by George Benjamin Daniels, Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, ordered Iran to pay almost $11 billion in compensation to families of victims killed on 9/11 and to insurance companies who covered those suffering damages in the attack.
The Iranian government failed to defend itself in the lawsuit, and the ruling is a default judgment.
According to court documents publicized by Asharq al-Awsat, a London-based Arabic-language newspaper, Iran helped to facilitate the 9/11 attacks, giving Al Qaeda agents “critical training and support”.
The evidence presented in the case also suggests that Hezbollah, a known proxy of the Iranian regime, also aided and abetted Al Qaeda members involved in the 9/11 attacks. According to one report presented in the case “a senior operative of Hezbollah [Imad Mughniyah] visited Saudi Arabia to coordinate activities there. He also planned to assist individuals in Saudi Arabia in traveling to Iran during November”.
While Al Qaeda, which is affiliated with the extreme Wahhabist brand of Sunni Islam, has traditionally been seen as irreconcilably opposed to the Shi’ite regime in Iran, documents recovered in the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan revealed Al Qaeda and Iran may in fact have had a working relationship.
At least one top Al Qaeda official, Yunis al Mauritani, is believed to have been allowed to operate in Iran, where he plotted attacks on the West. One memo to bin Laden revealed Al Qaeda’s use of Iran as a safe haven and terror training area.
“His plan is: stay around three months in Iran to train the brothers there then start moving them and distributing them in the world for their missions and specialties,” a memo recovered in the raid read.
The US found more than a million documents in bin Laden’s compound, but has only released a handful to the public.
Iran derided last week’s ruling, and has made no indication it plans to cooperate with the ruling.