COURT DOCUMENTS IN RE: bloomberg: U.S. District Court Rules Iran Behind 9/11 Attacks
: U.S. District Court Rules Iran Behind 9/11 Attacks
: U.S. District Court Rules Iran Behind 9/11 Attacks
: PR Newswire
: NEW YORK, December 23, 2011
: NEW YORK, December 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
: A federal district court in Manhattan yesterday entered a
: historic ruling that reveals new facts about Iran's support
: of al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. U.S. District Judge George
: B. Daniels ruled yesterday that Iran and Hezbollah
: materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September
: 11, 2001 attacks
: and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family
: members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case.
: Judge Daniels had announced his ruling in Havlish, et al. v.
: bin Laden, et al. , in open court on Thursday, December 15,
: 2011, following a three-hour courtroom presentation by the
: families' attorneys. Judge Daniels
: entered a written Order of Judgment yesterday backed by 53
: pages of detailed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.
: Fiona Havlish, whose husband Donald perished in the World
: Trade Center North Tower on 9/11 said, "This is a
: historic day. For ten years we've wanted the truth to be
: known about who was responsible for our losses. Now we have
: that answer."
: Ellen Saracini, the wife of United Airlines 175 pilot Victor
: Saracini, which the hijackers crashed into the WTC South
: Tower, said after the hearing last
: Thursday, "We just came from Judge Daniels' court where
: he ruled in favor of holding accountable those who
: perpetrated the attacks of 9/11... I just smiled up to
: Victor and I said we're still thinking about you ... we're
: there for you... we'll always be there for you. But today's
: very special."
: In Havlish, et al. v. bin La den, et al. , Judge Daniels held
: that the Islamic Republic of Iran, its Supreme Leader
: Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, former Iranian president
: Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Iran's agencies and
: instrumentalities, including, among others, the Iranian
: Revolutionary Guard Corps ("IRGC"), the Iranian
: Ministry of Intelligence and Security ("MOIS"),
: and Iran's terrorist proxy Hezbollah, all materially aided
: and supported al Qaeda before and after 9/11.
: "The families have waited a very long time for this day
: and they have been through a lot. So I was greatly relieved
: that the families received an answer to the question that
: they asked me ten years ago: they asked who was the
: responsible party? How did this happen? Today a federal
: court judge has said
: that a principal responsible party is the Islamic Republic of
: Iran," said Thomas E. Mellon, Jr. of Doylestown,
: Pennsylvania, law firm of Mellon Webster & Shelly, the
: lead attorney for the Havlish plaintiffs.
: The evidence was developed over a seven-year international
: investigation by the Havlish attorneys who pursued the 9/11
: Commission's recommendation regarding an apparent link
: between Iran, Hezbollah, and the 9/11 hijackers, following
: the Commission's own eleventh-hour discovery of significant
: Security Agency ("NSA") intercepts: "We believe
: this topic requires further investigation by the U.S.
: government." 9/11 Commission Report, p. 241. The
: Havlish evidence included sworn testimony and affidavits
: from the following: * Ten expert witnesses including three
: former 9/11 Commission staff members, two former CIA case
: officers, two investigative journalists, and an Iran
: analyst who has testified in 25 cases involving Iranian
: * Three Iranian defectors who were operatives of MOIS and the
: IRGC. Witness X, whose dramatic testimony was previously
: filed under seal, was revealed to be Abolghasem Mesbahi, a
: former MOIS operative in charge of Iran's espionage
: operations in Western Europe. Judge Daniels found that
: Mesbahi has testified in numerous prosecutions of Iranian
: and Hezbollah terrorists, including the Mykonos case in
: Germany and the AMIA case in Argentina, and found to be
: highly reliable and credible. Judge Daniels also credited
: Mesbahi's testimony that he received messages during the
: summer of 2001 from inside the Iranian government that an
: Iranian contingency plan for unconventional warfare against
: the U.S. called " Shaitan dar Atash " had been
: activated. "This is compelling proof that Iran was
: deeply involved in the 9/11 conspiracy," said Tim
: Fleming, lead investigative attorney for the Havlish group.
: Included among Judge Daniels' findings in Havlish are the
: following: * Members of the 9/11 Commission staff testified
: that Iran aided the hijackers by concealing their travel
: through Iran to access al Qaeda training camps in
: Afghanistan. Iranian border inspectors refrained from
: stamping the passports of 8 to 10 of the 9/11 hijackers
: because evidence of travel through Iran would have
: prevented the hijackers from obtaining visas at U.S.
: embassies abroad or gaining entry into the United States.
: The 9/11 Commission Report addressed these facts and called
: for further investigation. 9/11 Commission Report at pp.
: * Expert and U.S. government evidence also confirmed that Iran
: facilitated the escape of al Qaeda leaders and members from
: the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan into Iran and provided
: safe haven inside Iran after 9/11.
: * Abolghasem Mesbahi testified he was part of an IRGC-MOIS
: task force that designed contingency plans for
: unconventional warfare against the U.S., code-named "
: Shaitan dar Atash " ("Satan in Flames")
: which included crashing hijacked passenger airliners into
: the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the White House.
: During the weeks before 9/11, Mesbahi received three coded
: messages from a source inside Iran's government indicating
: that the Shaitan dar Atash plan had been activated.
: * Mesbahi also testified that in 2000 Iran used front
: companies to obtain a Boeing 757-767-777 flight simulator
: for training the terrorists. Due to U.S. trade sanctions,
: Iran has never had any Boeing 757-767-777 aircraft, but all
: the airplanes hijacked on 9/11 were Boeing 757 or 767
: * A May 14, 2001 memorandum from inside the Iranian government
: demonstrating that Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah
: Khamenei, was aware of the impending attacks and
: instructing intelligence operatives to restrict
: communications to existing contacts with al Qaeda's Ayman
: al Zawahiri and Hizballah's Imad Mughniyah.
: * Documents obtained from German federal prosecutors showing
: that 9/11 coordinator Ramzi Binalshihb traveled to Iran in
: January 2001 on his way to Afghanistan to brief Osama bin
: Laden on the plot's progress.
: * Evidence from the 9/11 Commission Report that a "senior
: Hezbollah operative," which the Havlish evidence
: identifies as Hezbollah terrorist chief Imad Mughniyah,
: coordinated activities in Saudi Arabia and was present (or
: his associate) on flights the hijackers took to and from
: Beirut and Iran. 9/11 Commission Report at pp. 240-41.
: Mughniyah, a longtime agent of Iran, orchestrated a string
: of terror operations against the U.S. and Israel during the
: 1980s and 1990s. He was assassinated inSyria in February of
: Attorneys emphasized that it is important to understand that
: Iran, Hezbollah,and al Qaeda formed a terror alliance in
: the early 1990s. The attorneys citedtheir national security
: and intelligence experts, including Dr. Patrick Clawson,
: Dr. Bruce Tefft, Clare Lopez, Kenneth Timmerman, Dr. Ronen
: Bergman,Edgar Adamson, and 9/11 Commission staff members
: Dietrich Snell, Dr. DanielByman, and Janice Kephart, as
: well as the published writings of Robert Baer,to explain
: how the pragmatic terror leaders overcame the Sunni-Shi'a
: divide in order to confront the U.S. (the "Great
: Satan") and Israel (the "Lesser Satan").
: Iran and Hezbollah then provided training to members of al
: Qaeda in,among other things, the use of explosives to
: destroy large buildings. The Iran-Hezbollah-al Qaeda
: alliance led to terror strikes against the U.S. at Khobar
: Towers, Saudi Arabia (1996), the simultaneous U.S. embassy
: bombings in Kenya and Tanzania (1998), and the USS Cole
: (2000). Shortly after the Cole attack, Iran was
: facilitating the international travel of the 9/11
: "It was a wonderful day. A great day where the truth was
: finally revealed ina court of law with strong, strong
: evidence. The judge allowed us to put onand present all the
: evidence that we had filed directly or under seal and he
: accepted it and made a ruling in our favor," said Dennis
: Pantazis, one of theHavlish attorneys. "Now we go on
: to prove damages for each one of the familymembers,"
: he added.
: The case is Fiona Havlish, et al v. Usama Bin Laden, et al,
: 03-CV-9848 (GBD), and is part of the consolidated
: proceeding In Re Terrorist Attacks on Septemb er 11, 2001,
: Civil Action No. 03 MDL
: 1570 (GBD).
: For full story information, background documents, and links to
: broadcastquality footage, including soundbites from Havlish
: attorneys and plaintiffs,please visit the case website at
: http://www.Iran911case.com .
: Contact: Thomas E. Mellon, Jr., Esq., +1-215-348-7700, Timothy
: B. Fleming,Esq, +1-202-263-3683, Dennis G. Pantazis, Esq.,
: +1-205-314-0500, Walter Batty,
: Esq., +1-610-544-6791