SCOTUS Rules Iran Must Pay $2.65B to Terror Victims

Source: U.S. Supreme Court Rules Iran Must Pay American Bomb Victim Families h/t TheReligionOfPeace.com

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that almost $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be turned over to American families of people killed in the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran.

The court’s 6-2 ruling dealt a setback to Iran’s central bank, finding that the U.S. Congress did not usurp the authority of American courts by passing a 2012 law stating that the frozen funds should go toward satisfying a $2.65 billion judgment won by the families against Iran in U.S. federal court in 2007.

Bank Markazi had challenged a 2014 ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the assets, bonds held in a trust account overseen by former federal judge Stanley Sporkin, should be handed over to the more than 1,000 American plaintiffs.

With the legal questions resolved, lawyers for the plaintiffs said all that is left is for a federal judge to allow Sporkin to distribute the funds.

The lead plaintiff was Deborah Peterson, whose brother, Marine Lance Corporal James Knipple, died in the Beirut bombing. Peterson said for her the legal fight has never been about the just money.

“The mission was for those responsible for the bombing to be held accountable and for the world to understand what happened in Beirut,” Peterson said.

Ted Olson, the lawyer for the victims who argued the case before the Supreme Court, said the ruling brings “long-overdue relief to more than 1,000 victims of Iranian terrorism and their families, many of whom have waited decades for redress.”

Jeffrey Lamken, the Iranian bank’s attorney, declined to comment.

The plaintiffs have waged a long legal battle seeking compensation for attacks they say Iran orchestrated. Congress inserted itself into the dispute by passing the law to help the plaintiffs obtain the Iranian funds.

The plaintiffs accused Iran of providing material support to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shi’ite Islamist political and military group responsible for the 1983 truck bomb attack at the Marine compound in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. service members.

They also sought compensation related to other attacks including the 1996 Khobar Towers truck bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. service members.

Caragh Fay, a lawyer representing the victims of the Beirut attack, said it could take from three months to a year for the funds to be dispersed to plaintiffs, depending in part on recommendations Sporkin first has to make to the judge.

Money will go to the estates of service members who died in the attack, their families and to those who survived the attacks. Payouts will range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, Fay said.

Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, criticized the ruling, saying Congress was “commandeering the courts to make a political judgment look like a judicial one.” Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined his dissent.

Texas: Muslim charged in killing of Iranian woman who left Islam for Christianity

The deceased apparently helped the daughter of the killer leave Islam and find a non-Muslim boyfriend – who was also found killed. via Texas man charged in killing of Iranian student | Mail Online. h/t BNI

A Houston-area man, originally from Jordan, has been charged in the 2012 shooting death of an Iranian student and women’s rights activist.

Spokesman Jeff McShan says a grand jury in Houston indicted 56-year-old Ali Irsan on Thursday in the January 2012, killing of 30-year-old Gelareh Bagherzadeh.

Bagherzadeh was shot to death as she talked with her boyfriend on her cellphone

Her body was discovered slumped behind the wheel of her car after crashing into the upscale Houston townhome complex where she lived with her parents.

Bagherzadeh was a molecular genetic technology student at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She was also an outspoken Iranian activist.

Friends have said she told them she was once arrested for not wearing the correct dress, and had been strictly disciplined for dating a man who was considered inappropriate.

She told them she was so sick of Islam that she converted to Christianity and was baptized at Second Baptist Church.

In the wake of Iran’s 2009 presidential elections, widely regarded as fraudulent, Bagherzadeh joined dozens of Houston Iranians in protest, even appearing on TV.

In January 2012 she was driving from the Beavers’ home in Spring when she was shot while turning into her parents’ town home

She was chatting on the phone with a friend who told police he heard her scream before her car crashed into a garage.

Police say the assailant fired several times at close range through the glass of her passenger window.

The mystery deepened 11 months later, in November 2012, when the twin brother of Bagherzadeh’s boyfriend was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds inside his apartment.

At the time, deputies would not confirm at the time whether there was a connection between the killings of Bagherzadeh and 28-year-old Coty Beavers.

Record show Beavers and Nesreen Ali Irsan applied for a marriage license in 2011.

His daughter.

Online jail records do not list an attorney for Irsan, of Conroe. A grand jury indicted Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan two weeks ago.

Investigators spent hours raiding several of Irsan’s rural homes and properties yesterday, where they arrested him and two others.

‘I’m sure her family wanted to find the person,’ said Fatan Kasbidi, one of Bagherzadeh’s friends. ‘I want to find peace.’

The U.S. Attorneys Office says three people are in custody on federal fraud charges.

One of those arrested sat smiling in the rear of a police car.

The police presence was significant as heavily armed officers – some in paramilitary gear – searched at least four properties around Montgomery County.

Irsan, who’s from Jordan, is charged now with her murder.

Detectives are not saying yet what links him to the killing or identifying the other two who are in custody on the federal fraud charges.

Bagherzadeh’s death shocked Houston’s close-knit Iranian community and fueled widespread speculation about whether foreign governments were to blame or if it was an honor killing.

The molecular genetics student had moved from Tehran just four years earlier and spoken out publicly against the Iranian government. Christian converts like her are often executed in Iran.

 

Georgia Tech grad student from Iran blows self up with Molotov cocktail

via Georgia Tech grad student from Iran injured by Molotov cocktail – CBS Atlanta News. h/t Lisa

ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) – We now know who was hurt at a midtown Atlanta apartment building Tuesday in an explosion caused by what law enforcement called a “Molotov cocktail.”

Saamer Akshabi is a graduate student from Iran, studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Computing in Atlanta.

The fire happened at about 4 p.m. Tuesday at the apartment located about a mile from Georgia Tech’s campus at 275 10th Street near Piedmont Park.

Akhshabi suffered severe burns on his hands, arms, chest and face, authorities said. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body.

Atlanta Fire Rescue noticed what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail along with several other plastic bottles filled with liquid. AFR cleared the apartment and Homeland Security was notified.

SWAT cleared the apartment of any explosives and examined the liquid, identifying it as gasoline and kerosene.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force was on the scene, along with the Atlanta Police Department’s bomb squad. ATF and FBI agents also were at the scene.

Georgia Tech released the following statement Tuesday night:

“Georgia Tech is working with law enforcement to notify the victim’s family. Until that notification is made the Institute is not able to release the victim’s information. We are able to confirm a Georgia Tech graduate student was involved in an incident involving a fire in a building off of 10th street this evening. Our primary concern is to provide appropriate assistance to the victim and for his family as well as his classmates. We continue to cooperate with the investigation of incident.”

Georgia Tech has since confirmed Saamer Akshabi is the man hurt in the explosion

Law enforcement continues to investigate.

Jawa notes, Terrorist “Workplace Accident” at …. Georgia Tech?

…this would-be bomber is also a big, big fan of Obamacare. He also loves himself some gun control.

Gun control, yes: Molotov cocktail control, hell no!

He wouldn’t be the first jihadist from Georgia Tech.

Iranian Immigrant Arrested for Shipping Military Secrets to Tehran

via U.S.-Iranian Citizen Arrested for Shipping Military Secrets to Tehran :: The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

A criminal complaint charged Mozaffar Khazaee (aka Arash Khazaie) of shipping secret copyrighted documents relating to the U.S. Air Force’s F35 Joint Strike Fighter Program and military jet engines to Iran.

Khazaee, who became naturalized in 1991 and holds dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship, allegedly obtained the information from defense contractors with whom he had been employed as an engineer.

The investigation against Khazaee opened in November after investigators from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) noticed a shipment that Khazaee sent by truck from Connecticut to a freight forwarder in Long Beach, Cal. Although the documentation on the shipment said that it contained household goods, inspectors found “numerous boxes of documents consisting of sensitive technical manuals, specification sheets, and other proprietary material relating to the U.S. Air Force’s F35 Joint Strike Fighter program and military jet engines,” an affidavit attached to the complaint said.

Khazaee, who recently moved from Connecticut to Indianapolis, was arrested in Newark before he could get on a connecting flight to Frankfurt on his way to Tehran.

He made an initial court appearance Monday. The charge against him carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if Khazaee is convicted.

Report: U.S. fighting alongside Iran’s Al Qods Brigades in Iraq (video)

via Debka: US and Iran’s First Joint Military Venture: Fighting al Qaeda in Iraq.

Iraq is two weeks into a major offensive for cutting al Qaeda down – the first major military challenge the jihadists have faced in the past six years. Three armies are fighting alongside Iraq: the United States, Iran’s Al Qods Brigades officers and Syria.

via ABC News,

Former CIA Case Officer Robert Baer…describes the al Quds forces as the “bad guys … who 100 percent have American blood on their hands.”

Ancient Dearborn Democrat meets with Hizbollah-linked imam

Term limits anyone? via The Arab American News – Elahi meets with Congressman Dingell, discusses U.S.-Iran relations.

Imam Elahi (right) pictured with Congressman Dingell.

Imam Elahi (right) pictured with Congressman Dingell.

DEARBORN HEIGHTS – Last week, Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi and Congressman John Dingell met to discuss U.S.- Iranian relations.

The discussion centered on the election of the new moderate Iranian president and the opening of a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries.

Elahi asked the Congressman to refer to his wisdom and experience to help improve U.S. relations with Iran.  He pointed out President Obama’s friendly messages to the Iranian people, over the last few years, and asked that the U.S. turn those words into actions and begin renewed diplomatic dialogue between “these two great nations.”

He described Rouhani’s election as a great opportunity and a test for the Obama Administration to establish a direct dialogue with Iran, based on mutual interest and respect.
Congressman Dingell promised to do all that he can to help and assured Elahi that he would assign a member of his office to continue this conversation.

Click the image for more on Elahi and his links to previous Iranian presidents as well as Hezbollah Spiritual Leader Sheikh Fadlallah, pictured below:

elahifadlallah2

Also read Rouhani is not a moderate, and Hassan Rouhani is no “moderate.”

Argentine Indictment Accuses Iran of Terror Plots, Cells in Latin America

via Latin Times.

A prosecutor from Argentina, Alberto Nisman has accused Iran of planning to carry out terror attacks in various Latin American countries, BBC reports. Nisman believes Iran is sending spies to gather intelligence in order to execute terror plots in Brazil, Chile, and other countries in Latin America.

Alberto Nisman is investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community in Buenos Aires. 85 people were killed in the attack. On Wednesday, the New York Times reports that Alberto Nisman accused Iran of masterminding the attack.

“I legally accuse Iran of infiltrating several South American countries to install stations, in other words espionage bases destined to commit, encourage, and sponsor terror attacks like the one that took place against Amia,” BBC reports Nisman as saying.

The Japan Times reports that Nisman accused the former cultural attaché from Iran in Buenos Aires, Mohsen Rabbani of working to build an intelligence network over the past two decades.

These are sleeper cells,” Nisman said in an indictment. “They have activists you wouldn’t imagine. Sometimes they die having never received an order to attack.”

According to reports this past February Argentine legislators worked out an agreement with Iran to set up an international commission in order to get to the bottom of the 1994 Buenos Aires bombing.

The Argentines have issued indictments and called for the arrest of several high level officials but Iran has not turned over anyone wanted in the bombing.

That’s odd. The ever so trustworthy U.S. State Dept. just released a report declaring there were No Active Al Qaeda, Hezbollah Terror Cells in Western Hemisphere. More via the BBC:

He said the countries targeted included Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Surinam.

Argentina has issued arrest warrants for several Iranian nationals and a Lebanese national in connection with the bombing.

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