Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
The USS Cole was refueling in Yemen in October of 2000 when two al-Qaeda suicide bombers blew a hole in its hull. The attack killed 17 sailors and injured another 39. Fifteen of the injured sailors and three of their spouses filed a federal lawsuit against Sudan in 2010, claiming the country helped facilitate the bombing by lending material support to al-Qaeda.
The victims won the case, and now a federal appeals court in New York is ordering three banks to turn over Sudanese funds to satisfy the judgment.
Judgment a Long Time Coming
Suing a foreign country can be a little complicated. The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act waives foreign sovereign immunity from crimes of terrorism, and lays out the legal process by which countries can be held liable for funding terrorist activities.
Here's a brief timeline of the USS Cole victims' lawsuit against Sudan:
This is not the first successful terrorism lawsuit and it's likely not the last. The victims' attorney, Andrew Hall, has a history of winning lawsuits against state sponsors of terrorism like Iraq and Libya. And there are two other judgments against Sudan and one against Iran for the USS Cole bombing.
Seizing the actual funds to satisfy judgments in anti-terror lawsuits has always been the hard part; but with this latest ruling, victims from an attack ten years ago may be one step closer to restitution.