Hamas victims from the US sue Iran, Syria, Binance, and CZ

US citizens affected by Hamas’ attack on Israel have sued the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic for sponsoring, funding, and arming the terrorist group, along with crypto exchange Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ).

For years, Binance and CZ “provided a funding mechanism for Hamas and other terrorists,” a complaint filed on Wednesday claims, “and concealed vital information about this from US regulators and the public.”

The plaintiffs in the case are US citizens who were murdered, injured, or taken hostage by Hamas on October 7. The landmark filing says it represents all thirty Americans who were murdered in the attacks and the ten citizens who were taken hostage.

Binance and CZ’s guilty plea used to prove Hamas financing

According to them, Binance “processed numerous transactions associated with Hamas and related Palestinian terrorist groups between 2017 and mid-2023, providing a clandestine financing tool that Binance deliberately hid from US regulators.”

The filing cited Binance and CZ’s guilty plea deal, reached in November with the Department of Justice (DoJ), as supporting evidence. The deal included the acknowledgement that Binance and CZ knowingly failed to implement safeguards against terrorism financing.

One month after the October 7 attacks, numerous members of Congress sent a letter to president Joe Biden and secretary of the treasury Janet Yellen that warned of Binance’s role in facilitating Hamas. It claimed that Hamas-linked wallets had received $41 million between August 2021 and June 2023, and that Palestinian Islamic Jihad-linked wallets had handled about $93 million during the same time period. It’s worth noting that crypto research firm Chainalysis believes that these figures are inflated.

Read more: Binance named in Hamas warning letter signed by Congress

Iran has been accused by the plaintiffs of training and hosting many of the Hamas terrorists who participated in the October 7 attacks, along with being the “leading global sponsor of Hamas and international terrorism.”

The court filing further argued that Syria provided Hamas with “financial, military, and logistical support” and supplied the group with the drug Captagon. Alongside providing an extra source of revenue, the complaint claims that the drug fuelled the terrorists with “rage, irritability, and impatience,” which in turn “encouraged them to murder and torture their victims.”

At press time, Binance and CZ have not responded to reporters’ requests for comment. CZ is stuck in the United States as he awaits criminal sentencing, which is scheduled for February 23.

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