In a blockbuster ruling, Federal Judge George Daniels in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York issued an order stating that Iran and its Lebanese Shi’ite terror proxy, Hizballah, are jointly responsible together with al-Qa’eda for the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The long-awaited ruling came in the cases of Havlish, et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, et al., and Bingham, et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, et al., lawsuits filed by families of 9/11 victims. The cases provided clear and compelling evidence that Iranian officials at the top levels of the Tehran regime played a key role in planning and facilitating the 9/11 attacks and, even more specifically, that they provided direct and material support to al-Qa’eda without which the attacks could not have taken place. This week, Judge Daniels agreed.
Lead attorney for both cases, Thomas E. Mellon, Jr. of Doylestown, Pennsylvania of the law firm of Mellon Webster & Shelly, and Timothy Fleming of the Washington, D.C. office of Wiggins Childs Quinn & Pantazis, in Birmingham, Alabama headed a consortium of eight law firms across the United States and built a team of investigators and expert witnesses who collectively logged thousands of hours over the course of nine long years to compile the evidence. The team was doggedly committed, on behalf of the 9/11 victims, their family members, and the American people, to provide the full truth about Iran’s complicity in the horrific attacks of that day and to see Iran and Hizballah, as well as al-Qa’eda, held accountable for the devastation they caused.
Based on its last-minute discovery just days before the 2004 publication of its report of thousands of classified intelligence reports that described what the U.S. Intelligence Community knew about the Iran-al-Qa’eda relationship, the Commission called explicitly on the U.S. government to conduct further investigation of that relationship. As of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, however, there was no indication the U.S. government had conducted any such investigation nor did it appear to have any intent or willingness to do so.
So, taking the 9/11 Commission Report as its starting point, the Havlish team undertook that “further investigation,” relying primarily on open source material. In addition, the Havlish attorneys took 25 hours of sworn testimony (filed under seal) from three former Iranian intelligence officers, who described the direct participation of top Iranian government officials and also of Imad Mughniyah, the Hizballah terror chieftain assassinated in February 2008, who was the key liaison for training and terror operations between Iran and al-Qa’eda for many years.
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