Eitam and Naama Henkin
Eitam and Naama HenkinNo credit

Washington DC-based law firm Stein Mitchell Beato & Missner LLP announced that it is filing a $360 million lawsuit against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic for the countries’ support of the 2015 murders of members of the Henkin family. The suit also targets Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security; Bank Markazi Jomhouri, the Central Bank of Iran; Bank Melli Iran; and Bank Saderat Iran for their involvement.

While driving in Judea and Samaria in 2015, the Henkin family was shot to death by terrorists in another vehicle. The terrorists, all of whom have admitted to being members of a Hamas terrorist cell, murdered parents Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife Na’ama, while their children, ages nine, seven, four, and ten months, looked on from the back seat of the car. The children survived after Rabbi Henkin – a citizen of the United States – fought back against the terrorists to defend his family and one of the terrorists suffered a friendly fire injury.

“What happened to the Henkin family was a despicable act of murder aided and supported by the governments of Syria, Iran, and related entities,” said Missner. “Iran and Syria are leading sponsors of international terrorism, responsible for planning, financing, and participating in countless acts of wanton murder and destruction.”

“If these despotic regimes think they can get away with murdering American citizens, then they are wrong,” Missner continued. “This lawsuit sends a clear warning that those who finance, support and encourage terrorism must be held accountable and forced to answer for their actions.”

Missner, who previously served as Managing Director for National Affairs at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is joined on the case by Stein Michell Beato & Missner attorneys Andrew Beato, Edward Meyers, and Michael Petrino.

“The U.S. Justice system provides recourse for victims, and there are procedures in place designed specifically to pursue justice on behalf of American victims of international terrorism,” said Petrino, referring to the Justice for United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act of 2015.

Among other provisions, the 2015 law established a fund to provide compensation to eligible claimants who hold judgments against state sponsors of terrorism. To date, the fund has paid or allocated over $2.1 billion to eligible claimants.

“Ideally, we want to see justice prevail for all victims of terrorism, but that is not always possible in other parts of the world,” said Stein Mitchell Attorney Andrew Beato. “However, in America, the rule of law comes first, and we have unique judicial procedures in place that allow us to render some measure of justice for American families devastated by terrorism.”

Stein Mitchell Beato & Missner LLP is joined by co-counsel Gavriel Mairone of MM~LAWLLC, a law firm dedicated to advancing private human rights law by representation of victims of terrorism, crimes against humanity and genocide.

“Terrorists require money, training and weapons, all of which is supplied by Iran, the IRGC and Iranian and other foreign banks. Cutting off the oxygen of the terrorists by holding the banks accountable will significantly reduce the threat and scale of international terrorism, and provide civil justice for the victims” said Mairone, managing partner of MM LAW.