Honickman v. BLOM Bank SAL, No. 20-575 (2d Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs and their family members were injured or killed in attacks carried out by Hamas, which the United States has designated as a foreign terrorist organization. They sued BLOM Bank for aiding and abetting Hamas’s attacks by providing financial services to customers affiliated with Hamas, in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 18 U.S.C. 2333, as amended by the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), section 2333(d)(2). The district court dismissed. concluding that Plaintiffs failed to plausibly allege BLOM aided and abetted Hamas’s attacks in violation of JASTA.
The Second Circuit affirmed. While the district court applied the wrong standard for JASTA aiding-and-abetting liability, the complaint fails to state a claim under the correct standard. Plaintiffs plausibly alleged that the party whom BLOM aided (indirectly), Hamas, committed attacks causing the Plaintiffs’ injuries but their allegations did not support an inference that BLOM was aware of the customers’ ties with Hamas before the relevant attacks. The complaint’s references to media articles and publications on the connection to Hamas were insufficient.