The Jordanian chairman of the Arab Bank insisted in Brooklyn Federal Court Monday that his bank was “clean” and had not provided funding to Hamas, speaking after his first day as a defense witness in the long-awaited civil terrorism-financing trial.
A lawsuit, first filed 10 years ago by families of U.S. victims, accuses the bank of knowingly maintaining accounts for operatives of the terror group and financing millions in payments for the families of suicide bombers and those imprisoned or injured during the Palestinian uprising that began in 2000.
Arab Bank said it merely provided routine banking services in compliance with counter-terrorism laws and regulations, and had no intention of providing support to Hamas, which the United States designated as a terrorist organization in 1997.
“They’re not true,” Bank Chairman Sabih al-Masri said of the plaintiffs’ allegations, standing outside the courthouse. “The bank never did anything wrong, intentionally or knowingly.”
It is believed to be the first terrorism-financing case to go to trial in the United States.