More Sept. 11 Victims Who Sued the Taliban Want Frozen Afghan Funds

New York Times

WASHINGTON — A fight is breaking out among lawyers for different groups of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks over who can try to seize $7 billion in Afghan central bank funds deposited at the New York Federal Reserve — money the Taliban now claims is theirs.

The dispute stems from various lawsuits that groups of attack victims — the estates of those killed, along with their spouses, children and other relatives, and survivors who were injured — filed against Al Qaeda and others they said provided support to the terrorists, like the Taliban. When the defendants did not show up in court, the plaintiffs won default judgments years ago.

. . . Also on Thursday, Jerry S. Goldman, a lawyer in yet another Sept. 11 lawsuit, known as O’Neill, wrote the court to urge delaying matters until late January. He said the additional time would keep the funds “fully secured” while the Biden administration and the court sort through competing claims.

The O’Neill case, filed in 2004, does not name the Taliban or Afghanistan as defendants. But Mr. Goldman said in an interview that his clients deserved a fair share, too.

“I think everybody needs to be treated equally,” he said, adding, “The funds should go to all of the victims, not a select few.”

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