There are two exceptions to a state’s immunity under FSIA: if a country falls under the State Department’s designated list of state sponsors of terror, which Saudi Arabia is not among (Iran, Cuba, Syria and Sudan are the four on the list), or when a state commits a non-commercial tort, in other words they injure or do damage non-commercially.
The bill would make clear that FSIA tort exception applies to acts of terror in the U.S. and establish a 15-year statue of limitation under the Anti-Terrorism Act, which currently has a limit of four years.In addition to Schumer’s proposed bill, the New York Times reported last Friday on a recent ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which “gave a green light to a lawsuit seeking to hold Afghanistan financially liable for the attacks because of that country’s role as a training ground for Al Qaeda.” The precedent set by this ruling, the story suggested, gives “victims perhaps their best chance in the 10 years since the attacks to press lawsuits against Saudi Arabia and other nations that they believe were financially complicit.”
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