US judge okays lawsuit against terrorists' bank

A question to any lawyer types out there: does the decision below set a precedent for any victim of terrorism to sue financial institutions whose clients were involved in those acts of terrorism? Would it apply to other types of violence, including state violence?

A Federal Court Judge in Brooklyn on Tuesday approved a lawsuit filed by victims of terror against the Arab Bank for alleged business links with terrorist organizations.

Judge Nina Gershon accepted the feasibility of the joint claim filed by 1,600 people living in Israel, the U.S. and other countries who were hurt in terrorist attacks orchestrated by some of the bank's clients.

In their lawsuit, complainants claimed the Arab Bank's Manhattan branch was used to channel funds to Hamas and other Palestinian militants.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.