- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 10, 2003

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Insurance companies have sued al Qaeda and others reputedly tied to the terrorist network in a bid to recover billions of dollars in losses related to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The firms — including industry majors Chubb Corp., Munich Re Group unit American Re, Zurich American Insurance Group, One Beacon Insurance Group and Crum and Foster Insurance Co. — said they had paid out $4 billion in property and workers’ injury claims stemming from the attacks.

In twin suits filed Tuesday in federal courts in New York and Washington, they sought to recover those losses and win billions more in compensatory damages.

The insurers said al Qaeda and governments, organizations and individuals who reputedly gave it financial or political help were responsible for the attacks and resulting losses.

These defendants had violated a raft of laws including the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act, they further charged.

“Our clients are joining the global fight against terrorism, by filing lawsuits against the countries, private companies and public organizations, banks and financial service firms, and the individuals who were, in some substantial way, responsible for 9/11,” said Stephen Cozen of Philadelphia-based law firm Cozen O’Connor, lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

The lawsuits were announced one day after a federal judge in New York ruled that families of victims of the 2001 attacks could sue for damages from the airlines, airport-security officials, a plane manufacturer and the public entity that owned the World Trade Center.

The latest suits join similar actions targeting al Qaeda and brought by U.S. and Canadian families of attack victims.

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