Federal Judge Holds Iran Liable For USS Cole Bombing, Awards $75M In Damages


A federal judge in Washington held the Iranian government liable for the USS Cole bombing in Yemen in 2000, along with the government of Sudan. The judge awarded $75 million in damages to the family of Kevin Shawn Rux, one of the 17 sailors who was killed in the attack.

The tab for the Cole attack is piling up for Sudan, according to the Washington Post: “Other federal judges – in Norfolk two weeks ago and in Washington in 2012 – have ordered Sudan to pay $48 million and $315 million, respectively, to victims of the Oct. 12, 2000, attack or their survivors. But Tuesday’s ruling is the first to find Iran partly responsible for the incident, in which an explosive-laden boat struck the guided-missile destroyer in the Yemeni port of Aden.”

This particular case, said to be one of the last claims brought against the perpetrators of the Cole bombing, has been in progress since 2010. Judge Rudolph Contreras wrote a 50-page opinion citing a variety of evidence, including U.S. intelligence reports, to conclude that Iran helped establish al-Qaeda’s network in Yemen, using Hezbollah in Lebanon as its “primary facilitator,” and had been conspiring against America and Israel since 1991.

The Post mentions a number of other successful suits against Iran for its sponsorship of terrorist activity, including “the 1983 bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, a 1995 Gaza bus bombing that killed American student Alisa Flatow and the 1998 al-Qaeda attacks against U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.”

Another one for the mullahs to chew on is the suit brought this week by the families of three American soldiers murdered by Iran-backed Hezbollah fighters in Iraq in 2007. “The attack 50 miles south of Baghdad was one of the boldest and most sophisticated during eight years of warfare in Iraq. Gunmen posed as a U.S. security team to get past the headquarters checkpoint manned by Iraqi police. They traveled in black SUVs, had American-style weapons, wore U.S. military combat fatigues and spoke English,” writes the Military Times.

“Once past the checkpoint, several of the gunmen got out of the SUVs and spoke with [Pfc. Shawn] Falter and [Spc. Jonathan] Chism, who were on guard, and then headed into the headquarters. They shot the two soldiers as they passed by. Both were taken wounded but alive, the lawsuit said. They resisted capture as best they could despite their injuries.” Two other soldiers were captured inside the compound, with the family of one of them, Lt. Jacob Fritz, joining the lawsuit. All of the captives were taken east toward the Iranian border and executed while handcuffed.

The families are seeking $200 million in damages, which should be small change for the Iranians, once they finish shaking down the Obama Administration’s negotiators and getting all their sanctions lifted.