Anti-Terrorism Act

Anti-Terrorism Act

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 1990 (“ATA”) enables U.S. nationals who were victims of international terrorism to seek monetary damages in U.S. federal court.

General Requirements:

  • Plaintiffs must be U.S. nationals, or their foreign national “estate, survivors, or heirs”.
  • Plaintiffs must have been “injured in his or her person, property or business” by an act of international terrorism.
  • The alleged acts of international terrorism must:
    • be violent or dangerous to human life;
    • be been in violation of the criminal laws of the U.S. or any State;
    • appear (objectively or subjectively) intended to (1) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (2) influence a government’s policy by intimidation or coercion; or affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.; and
    • occur primarily outside the U.S.
  • Liability extends to any person or entity that knowingly “aids or abets” an act of international terrorism.
  • If successful, Plaintiffs may collect treble damages and attorneys’ fees.

Impact: The ATA enables U.S. nationals to seek justice for international terrorism through claims of both primary and secondary liability. Such liability can reach private entities that might ordinarily be difficult reach, including banks that might facilitate financial support to terrorist organizations or social media companies providing platforms to terrorists.

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