MIL-OSI USA: Rep. Weber Introduces the Justice for American Victims of Terror

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Randy Weber (14th District of Texas)

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14) introduced the Justice for American Victims of Terror Act of 2022 to honor and support all American victims of state-sponsored terrorism.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14) introduced the Justice for American Victims of Terror Act of 2022 to honor and support all American victims of state-sponsored terrorism.

In February, the Biden Administration announced that the U.S. would be seizing assets from the Da Afghanistan Bank that were sitting within U.S. financial intuitions due to the collapse of the recognized government of Afghanistan. The Act will redirect $3.5 billion of frozen Afghan funds into the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism (USVSST) Fund so that all U.S. victims of terror, including military and civilian victims and the families of deceased victims, will be equitably compensated for their losses. The legislation amends President Biden’s executive order dictating that funds be distributed to a small subset of U.S. terror victims through the American legal system.

“This attempt by President Biden is shameful, and the money should not go to the hands of lawyers. Instead, they should be in the fund that Congress created to help American victims of terror,” said Rep. Weber.  “The President should not bypass Americans who are victims of terror. My bill will ensure that Congress exercises its oversight duty and that American victims are treated fairly and justly.”

“American victims of terrorism rightly deserve to receive an equal distribution of benefits from the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund. President Biden’s executive action deprived them of full compensation, skirting the process established by Congress, and benefitted a former White House lawyer who left days before the executive action, was wrong,” said Rep. Fitzgerald. “This legislation would correct this injustice and allow all victims to receive their compensation rather than a select few.”

“President Biden’s Executive Order to transfer $3.5 billion in an account for September 11th survivors does more to benefit lawyers than victims of state sponsored terrorism,” said Rep. Dunn. “The United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund includes thousands of American victims of terrorism, just as Congress intended. We must prioritize the victims, not law firms. The Justice for American Victims of Terrorism Act of 2022 will accomplish just that.”

“I have been advocating on behalf of my fellow American victims of international terrorism for decades in the hopes that we would receive some form of justice for the immense pain and suffering we have experienced in terrorist attacks across the globe, which is why I was deeply saddened and distressed by the misguided decision from the White House to prioritize a select few over our whole community,” said Anne Dammarell, who suffered serious injury in the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing and was lead Plaintiff in a case against Iran for its role in that attack. “This new legislation, which will direct funds into the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund (USVSST), is a much-needed remedy that will put an end to preferential treatment and ensure that all of America’s terrorism victim community receives the justice we deserve.”

Original cosponsors include: U.S. Reps. Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05), Yvette Herrell (NM-02), Kevin Hern (OK-01), Buddy Carter (GA-01), Michael Bost (IL-12), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Neal Dunn (FL-02), Barry Moore (AL-02), Rick Crawford (AR-01), and David McKinley (WV-01).

Background:

The USVSST Fund was established with bipartisan Congressional support in 2015 to ensure equitable financial compensation for all American victims of state-sponsored terrorism. The Fund, which is administered by the Department of Justice, equitably distributes money obtained by U.S. government from terrorist organizations among all victims of terror without preference for certain victims over others.

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