Breaking The Bank?

John blueoval at 1SMARTISP.NET
Wed Jan 12 16:31:36 MST 2005


        The New War on Terror
Joel Mowbray
January 12, 2005

In a bid to both bankrupt those who finance terror and bring some
sense of justice to its victims, the legal team that is suing the
Saudis for $1 trillion has launched yet another massive lawsuit
against prime supporters of radical Islamic jihad.

Filing in the Eastern District of New York late last month on
behalf of 700 survivors and family members of those killed by
terrorism in Israel, legendary trial lawyer Ron Motley is seeking
unspecified billions to continue his quest to change the face of
counterterrorism.

Motley, who made a mint taking on the likes of tobacco companies
and asbestos manufacturers, is now leading the charge against Arab
Bank, which operates in every Arab country that allows private
banking. Among its 400 branches and offices in 30 countries-and
the reason the plaintiffs have a real shot at recovery-is a
long-standing, federally-chartered branch in New York City.

While the case against the Saudis is considered a long shot by
many legal experts-though plaintiff insiders feel the action is
going quite well-the Arab Bank lawsuit seems solid.

Or maybe a better word is damning.

Though there has been no "discovery" yet-the process where the
defendant is supposed to provide any number of documents and the
juiciest stuff is often revealed-Motley's team already appears to
have a wealth of incriminating evidence against Arab bank.
According to the initial complaint, Arab Bank has funneled
billions of dollars to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa
Martyrs Brigade, the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine, and other terrorist organizations.

But most damning is that the bank's chairman and part-owner is an
outspoken advocate of Islamic jihad.

Arab Bank Chairman Abd al-Majid Shuman, whose family is believed
to hold 40% of the institution's stock, has been quite public with
his support for the Palestinian intifada, the four-year campaign
of terror aimed primarily at innocent Israeli civilians.

Arab-language newspaper articles excerpted in the complaint
indicate that Shuman is a well-known advocate of the Intifada.
Shuman, either for purposes of marketing or genuine expression of
his true sentiments, allegedly told a Jordanian newspaper four
years ago that Jews have no right to live in "Palestine." From
al-Dustour in July 2000 (during the infamous Camp David talks,
where Arafat walked away from the table): "Shuman said he was
against a Palestinian compromise [based on] a partial return
[which included] the loss of some land, and that the Jews had no
right to the land of Palestine."

Other banks owned at least in part by the Shuman family appear to
have acted openly to help realize Shuman's dream of no Jews in
"Palestine." Arab Bank's chairman allegedly issued a press release
stating that the primary activities of another of his family's
financial institutions related to supporting Palestinian jihad.
Following is an excerpt from a May 30, 2001 article in al-Dayan
newspaper of United Arab Emirates: "Abd al-Majid Shuman, chairman
of the board of Al-Ta'awun in Geneva, stated in a press release
that most of the institution's activities centered around
supporting the Intifada and the Al-Aqsa Fund, which the
institution had established at the beginning of the
confrontation."

Arab Bank also appears to have openly supported the Intifada.
Shuman is cited in al-Dustour in October 2000 as having
orchestrated Arab Bank employees "to donate 5% of their salaries"
"in solidarity and in support of the Al Aqsa Intifada."

The same article also asserts that Arab Bank hosted a meeting of
the Popular Committee for Support of the Intifada, where the group
discussed its plans to "continue giving direct financial aid to
the families of shaheeds (martyrs) and the wounded of the Al-Aqsa
intifada as follows: 1000 dinars [roughly $1,400] to the family of
each shaheed and 300 dinars [just over $400] to the families of
the wounded."

Lawyers representing Arab Bank, not surprisingly, released a
boilerplate denial, stating, "The accusations being brought
against the Bank, as we understand them, are entirely false."
If Arab Bank has not supported terrorism, however, then either
Shuman has lied about his jihadist financing or various Arab
newspapers have fabricated statements from him.

Neither potential explanation, though, would account for documents
captured by the Israeli Defense Forces that show money being
funneled to Hamas and other terrorist groups through Arab Bank's
New York branch.

The plaintiffs have already scored a major victory-before the case
was even filed. Last month, a federal court in Chicago ordered the
Quranic Literacy Institute to pay $156 million to the Boim family,
whose 17-year-old son was shot to death in the West Bank in 1996.
The "non-profit" had been found liable in David's death for its
role in helping finance Hamas. It was the first time
American-based supporters of terrorism had been held responsible
for the actions of the terrorists they sponsor.

Regardless of how the case against Arab Bank turns out, terror's
sponsors will not have seen the last of Motley and his crew. The
maverick trial lawyer is driven to bankrupt those who support and
perpetrate terrorism; the September 11 victims' families he
represents operate under the name "9/11 Families United to
Bankrupt Terrorism."

Both in terms of punishing terrorism supporters and stopping the
future flow of blood money, the suit against Arab Bank hopefully
will mark another significant step by victims in their own war
against terror.

©2005 Joel Mowbray



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