Saturday, December 28, 2019

More than 100 families of fallen members of the military sue defense contractors alleging they funded the Taliban, which resulted in the deaths of their relatives

In a very interesting development, NPR is reporting that more than 100 families are suing several major defense contractors alleging they made "protection payments" to the Taliban which constitutes funding funding terrorism under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act.

I am not familiar with the exact content of this Act, but given the complaint I am guessing it recognizes a cause of action for those who can allege that a defendant funded a terrorist group whose conduct causes an injury to the plaintiff (or decedent).  According to the complaint the "protection payments aided and abetted terrorism by directly funding an al-Qaeda-backed Taliban insurgency that killed and injured thousands of Americans."

The 288 page complaint is available here.

According to one expert, paying insurgents is "pretty universal" among defense contractors because it is the only way to get the supplies needed for their operations.  In contrast, the complaint argues that the defendants put the decedent's lives in danger in order to save money:  "it was cheaper to buy off the Taliban than it would have been to invest in the security necessary to mitigate the terrorists' threats."

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