Sen. Richard Blumenthal

Xinhua/Sipa USA

Blumenthal Seeks Better Protection For American Victims Of International Terrorism

May 25, 2018 - 4:25 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumental has introduced a bipartisan bill to improve protections for American victims of international terrorism.

Blumenthal told WCBS 880 that there legal loopholes that stand in the way of getting compensation.

"Just to give you an example, one of the Supreme Court cases denied any relief to people who were victims of PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) and Hezbollah terrorism because of legal loopholes in the law right now and this measure would close those legal loopholes and open opportunities for American citizens to hold accountable these terrorists and perhaps deter them from these kinds of heinous acts in the future. Make them pay real money to the victims of terrorism," he said.

The Act of War Defense and the Kingpin Act are among the obstacles.

"One of the loopholes is the so-called Act of War Defense which shields these terrorist groups from civil liability even when the act of terrorism is perpetrated by a designated terrorist group on the theory that it is an act of war and therefore can't be held civilly liable. Well acts of terrorism aren't acts of war between the states," Blumenthal said. "Second loophole concerns the assets that may be frozen from these terrorist groups under the so-called Kingpin Act and those assets ought to be accessible to American citizens. They ought to be able to collect on them when Hezbollah's assets are frozen. Those kinds of issues are currently blocking American citizens from holding accountable these terrorist groups and also certain jurisdictional issues which are complicated but ought to be solvable."

Read more about the bill here.