A US federal court in Washington has set a new precedent with a decision that Iran, Syria, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad can be held liable for wrongful death damages for the actions of certain “lone wolf” attackers.
The game-changing decision means that terror-groups and state-sponsors of terror could be hit with millions and even billion-dollar judgments for the 2015-2016 Knife Intifada and for other “lone wolf” attacks going forward if there is proof connecting them to specific attacks behind the scenes.
Many lone wolf attacks still have no connection to any group; someone who just spontaneously grabs a kitchen knife to stab an Israeli soldier would not be included in this decision.
Although the decision in the approximately five-year-old case in favor of NGO Shurat Hadin and most of the 44 plaintiffs it represents was formally handed down on Sunday, it was only publicized Tuesday morning.
A few of the plaintiffs’ cases were dismissed. Often in such cases, some are dismissed due to questions about their US citizenship, minor status, or foundational questions about the alleged damage.
The court only decided liability and could take years to decide actual damages for certain Knife Intifada-era attacks, as well as some other attacks between 2008-2018.
Former COGAT official Aryeh Spitzen and anti-terror expert Noa Meridor were instrumental in the case by explaining to the court how terror groups and state sponsors of terror can work behind the scenes to facilitate terror
attacks which then may seem to be spontaneous, lone-wolf attacks.
Shurat Hadin has won judgments against Iran, Syria, Hamas, and terror groups in the past, but this is the first time that anyone has won a US judgment against such groups for sponsoring lone wolves.