Dubbed “superbombs” because of their lethality, an Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) is a type of improvised explosive device (IED) that has had enormous effects on the U.S. Military in war zones. EFPs are self-forging warheads designed to effectively penetrate armor and fire in a way similar to canons. When fired, the explosive charge deforms a concave metal plate into a slug or rod shape. The shape forms as the plate accelerates toward an intended target. EFPs can breach tank armor 300 feet away. Additionally, these types of IEDs detonate with a force capable of traveling more than a mile per second.
Explosively formed penetrators were among the most deadly and destructive weapons used against U.S. troops before troop withdrawal began in 2011. In fact, IEDs are responsible for killing half to two-thirds of Americans killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Because an explosively formed penetrator is powerful enough to destroy Humvees and breach tank hulls, they are among the most deadly of IEDs. The devices were a hallmark of the Iranian-backed Shiite militias battling U.S. occupation after Saddam Hussein’s removal. In addition, Sunni militants adopted the technology in crude replicas.
Several notable European banks are credited with knowingly funding terror operations carried out by Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed militant Shia movement based in Lebanon. These banks concealed billions of dollars in transactions with their Iranian sponsors.
Explosively Formed Penetrator Lawsuit
The Freeman v. HSBC lawsuit takes its name from lead plaintiff Charlotte Freeman, whose husband was killed by Iranian-trained militants in Iraq. Dozens of Hezbollah violence victims filed a lawsuit in November 2014 against five European banks. The lawsuit alleges Barclays, HSBC, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland “committed acts of international terrorism.”
Specifically, the suit alleges that the European-based banks handled hundreds of billions of dollars in international transfers for Iranian banks. The lawsuit goes on to connect Iranian financial institutions to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, an elite Iranian paramilitary organization, and Hezbollah. The Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah have trained and armed Shia groups in Iraq that have kidnapped, shot and blown up Americans.
While the lawsuit does not assert a direct connection between the European banks and terrorist organizations, it does point to an indirect link. Further, the complaint claims that banks indirectly facilitated attacks by entering into agreements with Iranian banks. In the agreements, the European banks masked U.S. dollar wire transaction to Iranian banks. Each of the banks named in the lawsuit has already paid massive fines for conducting illicit business with Iran, other sanctioned countries and criminal organizations. In total, the banks have agreed to pay nearly $3.2 billion in fines. The fines for each bank are as follows:
- Barclays: $298 million
- HSBC: $1.9 billion
- Credit Suisse: $536 million
- Standard Chartered Bank: $340 million
- Royal Bank of Scotland: $100 million
Families of soldiers or civilians killed by Iranian-backed violence may be entitled to compensation under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Contact a qualified EFP lawsuit lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.
How Can Americans Sue European Banks?
In 1992, the United States passed the Anti-Terrorism Act. The Act allows victims to file lawsuits against those who finance terrorist groups—including foreign banks. In addition, the Act states that any national may sue for injuries that were “by reason of an act of international terrorism.”
The Anti-Terrorism Act paves the way for those injured by an explosively formed penetrator to hold the five European Banks accountable through civil remedies.