Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Punitive damages for 9/11 attacks set at $6-billion

A U.S. judge formally ordered Iran, al-Qaeda and several other defendants Wednesday to pay $6-billion (U.S.) compensation to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, in a largely symbolic ruling.

Although Iran denies any connection to 9/11, it was included in the list of alleged culprits by the U.S. District Court in New York, along with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Afghanistan's Taliban guerrillas and al-Qaeda, which took credit for the massive terror attack.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is also named.

Story continues below advertisement

However, the money, awarded for economic, personal and punitive damages for a total of $6,048,513,805 is unlikely to be recovered.

Iran is in a tense standoff with the United States over multiple issues, especially its nuclear industry and alleged plan to build an atomic weapon. Iranian-backed Hezbollah has no relations with the United States.

Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, who is also named, was killed by U.S. Navy Seals in a raid inside Pakistan in 2011. The Taliban are in an active war with U.S.-led troops across Afghanistan.

The ruling caps a series of court decisions prompted by lawsuits filed by families of 47 victims from among the nearly 3,000 killed on 9/11.

Last year, Judge George Daniels signed a judgment in favour of the plaintiffs. A magistrate then calculated the recommended compensation, which Judge Daniels on Wednesday approved in his ruling.

Mr. bin Laden and al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attacks, in which hijacked airliners were used to bring down the World Trade Center towers in New York and to crash into the Pentagon near Washington.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan at the time and were giving shelter to al-Qaeda. Iran was blamed by the U.S. court partly because some of the hijackers passed through the country on their way to carrying out the attacks.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.