Second Circuit dismisses 9/11 civil suits

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] ruled on three cases related to the 9/11 [JURIST backgrounder] terrorist attacks Tuesday, upholding the dismissal of almost all of the claims against the defendants. In In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 (Asat Trust Reg., et al) [opinion, PDF] the court upheld dismissals for a lack of personal jurisdiction over all but 12 of the 37 defendants. The defendants who were dismissed from the case included five relatives of Osama bin Laden [WP obituary; JURIST news archive]. The court remanded the case for the 12 defendants to whom the court found that personal jurisdiction did apply. The Second Circuit also upheld the dismissals against two defendants in In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 (Saudi Joint Relief Comm., et al.) [opinion, PDF], as the court found that the noncommercial tort exception [text] to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) [text] did not apply to the defendants because the tortious acts allegedly committed by the defendants did not occur inside the USs. Finally, in In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 (Al Rajhi Bank, et al.) [opinion, PDF], the Second Circuit upheld the dismissals against the defendants for a failure to state a claim for which the court could grant relief, specifically asserting that the defendants were not found to have owed a duty to the plaintiffs or to have proximately caused the harm to the plaintiffs.

Many cases involving suspected al Qaeda operatives and members of bin Laden's family are making their way through the US judicial system. Last week, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York announced [JURIST report] that the trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, bin Laden's son-in-law, is scheduled for January 7, 2014. Ghaith pleaded not guilty on March 8, and was brought to the US on March 1 after his capture [JURIST reports] in Jordan on February 28. In January the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the conspiracy conviction [JURIST report] of Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman Al Bahlul, bin Laden's media secretary. Bin Laden was killed [JURIST report] by US military personnel in 2011.

 

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