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ADL launches $4b lawsuit on behalf of US Oct. 7 victims

“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of antisemitism and terror—along with Syria and North Korea, they must be held responsible."

A boy views a memorial in Newton, Mass., honoring those who were kidnapped and taken into the Gaza Strip by Hamas on Oct. 7, after it was vandalized on April 7, 2024. Photo by Arthur Mansavage/Shutterstock.
A boy views a memorial in Newton, Mass., honoring those who were kidnapped and taken into the Gaza Strip by Hamas on Oct. 7, after it was vandalized on April 7, 2024. Photo by Arthur Mansavage/Shutterstock.

The Anti-Defamation League, together with Washington, D.C.-based law firm Crowell & Moring LLP, filed suit on Monday in U.S. federal court against Iran, Syria and North Korea on behalf of American victims of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, states that the three countries provided material support—including military, tactical and financial—to Hamas that enabled it to commit atrocities in Israel on Oct. 7. 

“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of antisemitism and terror—along with Syria and North Korea, they must be held responsible for their roles in the largest antisemitic attack since the Holocaust,” said ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt.

The plaintiffs are requesting compensatory damages against the defendants of no less than $1 billion and punitive damages no less than $3 billion.

Compensation would be drawn from the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, a fund Congress created in 2015 to allow Americans “who were injured in acts of international state-sponsored terrorism” to gain some measure of relief.

The case will “set the record straight” about the truth of the attack given the wave of “10/7 denialism” that followed it, according to the ADL.

More than 125 U.S. victims and their family members will be represented.

Crowell & Moring has decades of experience in litigating and winning terrorism cases, including in connection with the bombing of UTA flight 772 in 1989, the bombings of the U.S. embassy in Beirut in 1983 and 1984 and the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi in 1998.

Crowell & Moring’s Terrorism Litigation Team is led by Aryeh Portnoy and John Murino.

“It is imperative to combat terrorism using whatever tools are available,” said Portnoy. “One of those tools is the courts, and another is the U.S. Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism Fund. We are committed to fighting for the victims and families so that they are never forgotten, and so that they may find some measure of justice for the horrors they have endured.”

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