Weiss v. Nat'l Westminster Bank, No. 13-1618 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, victims of terrorist attacks in Israel by Hamas, filed suit against NatWest, claiming that NatWest provided material support and resources to a terrorist organization in violation of the Antiterrorism Act (ATA), 18 U.S.C. 2331(1)(A), 2333(a), and 2339B(a)(1), and collected and provided funds for the financing of terrorism in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2331(1)(A), 2333(a), and 2339C. Plaintiffs alleged that NatWest provided material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization by maintaining bank accounts and transferring funds for Interpal. The district court granted NatWest's motion for summary judgment. The court vacated and remanded, concluding that there is a triable issue of fact as to whether NatWest possessed the requisite scienter. The statute's requirement is less exacting, and requires only a showing that NatWest had knowledge that, or exhibited deliberate indifference to whether, Interpal provided material support to a terrorist organization, irrespective of whether Interpal's support aided terrorist activities of the terrorist organization. Because Hamas is an organization designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), plaintiffs can fulfill their burden by demonstrating either that NatWest had actual knowledge that Interpal provided material support to Hamas, or that NatWest exhibited deliberate indifference to whether Interpal provided material support.