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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Terror-fund court ruling a win for victims' families

Today's post is shared from
Tamir Averbach can’t forget the day his life changed.
He was 13, a seventh-grader at a school in Israel. He noticed his teachers became very quiet. Hours later, when he arrived home, he learned that his father, Steve, a police officer, had been paralyzed from the neck down in a suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem by the terrorist group Hamas. Seven years later, after much suffering, Steve Averbach, died. He was 44.
On Monday, Tamir Averbach, now 24 and a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, was at work at a Teaneck computer firm when his life changed again.
A jury in a federal lawsuit in Brooklyn found that the powerful Arab Bank of Jordan knowingly financed the bombing — and must pay a cash penalty to Averbach and the families of some 300 other U.S. citizens killed or injured in two dozen Hamas attacks in Israel.
The amount, which will be decided in a separate trial and shared by the 300 families, could run to more than $1 billion, lawyers say.
But collecting it may take years.
Averbach says he doesn’t care about the money for himself and how it might change his life. It won’t bring his father back. He takes comfort in knowing that the banks are on notice that they cannot deal with terrorists.
 “If we can cut some of the funding at the source, maybe we can stop terrorism,” Averbach said.
Many counterterrorism experts agree.
“This is a groundbreaking case,” said Matthew Levitt, a...
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