A civil lawsuit is inching forward against the Jordan-based Arab Bank for allegedly facilitating payments to the families of suicide bombers—but there's also a US connection to the scheme, writes Adam Penenberg at Pando Daily. New York attorney Gary Osen, who filed the suit 10 years ago, says the bank's US-dollar transactions are cleared in New York, and federal officials haven't done a darn thing about it. The bank has apparently shuttled "massive amounts of terror financing from Madison Avenue," writes Penenberg. As for Osen's $2 billion suit, representing 235 plaintiffs, he filed it because of how terror is financed in Palestine.
Typically Hamas visits the families of suicide bombers and has them fill out mundane forms to receive financing through the Arab Bank, according to the lawsuit. The money comes from sources such as Iran, Iraq, and Saudi charities, and families find it hard to refuse. As one Palestinian father told Der Spiegel after Israel leveled his house, "We needed the money. We suddenly no longer had a house." In dealing with Osen, the Arab Bank has denied some document requests and postponed a trial date, but barring a late reprieve from the Supreme Court, the suit is headed for a trial or costly settlement. But Osen says he's doing it for his clients, not the money: "They did it and do it ... because it gave them an opportunity to not be victims." Click for Penenberg's full article, or see MSN-NZ's report on how Hamas is getting into the film business. (Read more Hamas stories.)