On January 8, 2020, Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against U.S. airfields and bases in Iraq. More than 20 missiles were launched targeting Al Asad Air Base, Erbil International Airfield, Camp Taji, and Camp Manion, Al Taqaddum.
The surface-to-surface missiles were launched after the United States killed the leader of the Quds Force, a branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist group whose tentacles include Hezbollah and myriad shadowy militant groups that attacked U.S. troops in Iraq. Commanding General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike at Baghdad’s international airport on Jan. 3. Following the missile attack at Al Asad Air Base, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps issued a statement: “The fierce revenge by the Revolutionary Guards has begun.”
U.S. Law Seeks to Punish Financiers of Iranian Terrorist Attacks
The U.S. has classified Iran as a “state sponsor of terrorism” for almost four decades, with the initial designation dating to Iran’s engineering of the 1983 bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut by Hezbollah. Similarly, the global banks who facilitate Iran’s illegal purchasing of weaponry are considered sponsors of terrorism. The U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act ― and the parallel funding stream to compensate victims of terrorism ― was set up to punish these banks and groups like them.
The U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund
Congress has created a fund to provide compensation to victims of state-sponsored terrorism. Service members who were wounded in terrorist attacks may be eligible to seek compensation from this fund, the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund. Potential claimants must prove the facts of their case by first obtaining a final judgment in U.S. district court against a state sponsor of terrorism.