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May 18, 2008 – Several American victims of terrorist attacks in Israel have filed a lawsuit seeking more than $500 million (324 million) from a Swiss bank, claiming the bank made it possible for Iran to fund the terrorists.
The lawsuit says the bank, Zurich-based UBS AG, provided dollars to Iran in violation of trade sanctions and Iran funneled the money to terrorist groups.
“UBS knew full well that the cash dollars it was providing to a state sponsor of terrorism such as Iran would be used to cause and facilitate terrorist attacks by Iranian-sponsored terrorist organizations,” the plaintiffs say.
Their lawyer, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, said in a phone interview from Tel Aviv that the bank is liable “as much as Iran or the terrorists” for the damage caused.
A UBS spokesman in New York, Kris Kagel, said the bank would not comment. In 2004, when UBS was fined $100 million for sending dollars to Iran, Cuba, Libya and Yugoslavia, the bank said “very serious mistakes were made” but did not directly admit to the accusations.