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NEW YORK - A US judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to hold nine large European banks liable for allegedly providing banking services to Iran that enabled militants to conduct 55 attacks against US armed forces in neighboring Iraq.
In a decision on Thursday, US District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan said the banks' alleged misconduct was too far removed from the attacks, which occurred from 2003 to 2011, to support civil liability under federal anti-terrorism laws.The US Department of State has designated Iran a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984.
Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Commerzbank AG, Credit Agricole SA, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc , Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Standard Chartered Plc had been sued by military personnel who survived the attacks, and relatives and estates of those killed.
The plaintiffs accused the banks in a 533-page complaint of concealing their work for Iran through such practices as altering wire transfers, and masking the identities of those transferring funds.
But the judge found the complaint "devoid" of allegations that the banks knew they were enabling attacks in Iraq linked to Hezbollah, al Qaeda and other groups that the US government has designated as foreign terrorist organizations.
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