Families of some American service members killed fighting ISIS in Syria are suing French cement giant Lafarge after the company pleaded guilty to making payments to the terrorist group.
A lawsuit filed by the families of three US military personnel killed in attacks blamed on ISIS states, according to a report by the Network. ABC “The defendants’ payments and business partnership with ISIS provided the group with the seed capital it needed to transform from a fledgling militia in the early 2010s into a brutal terrorist behemoth with the ability and intent to kill Americans.”
Lafarge, a French company that was at the time among the largest in the world, pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine of nearly $800 million in October after the company faced the first-ever US government prosecution of a company for supporting terrorism, according to the network. Fox News.
Lafarge built a $680 million plant in northern Syria in 2011 but soon began to face competition from companies importing cheaper cement, according to the Justice Ministry.
Prosecutors accused the company of turning a blind eye to the actions of the armed ISIS groups it was doing business with, saying that the financial deals concluded were not motivated by ideological alignment with terrorist groups, but rather an attempt to secure an economic advantage.
The Justice Department said the company paid nearly $6 million to armed groups in an effort to keep the plant running, and relied on the militants to protect its employees and ensure safe shipments of materials from the plant.
Lafarge later pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, resulting in fines of hundreds of millions.
Prosecutors said the company also used fraudulent contracts and other fraudulent documents in an attempt to conceal its business relationship with militant groups.
“There is no justification — none — for a multinational corporation to authorize payments to a designated terrorist group,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said in a Justice Department press release in October, adding that “such payments are flagrant violations of our laws, and warrant maximum scrutiny.” by the US authorities, and calls for severe punishment.”
The suit alleges that the company put its “economic self-interest” first, helping to provide vital funding to a group that was killing innocent civilians and Americans.
It also states, “The defendants aided and abetted acts of international terrorism by ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra by knowingly providing significant assistance, including by providing cash and discreet payments through front companies and foreign intermediaries, purchasing raw materials from them, and entering into anti-competitive agreements.” With foreign terrorist organizations, and by not closing the cement factory and evacuating it safely, thus putting tons of cement and valuable raw materials into the hands of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.”
“The defendants knew that this material support was paid to foreign terrorist organizations and would be used to commit international terrorist acts,” she added.
The families of Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason Finnan, Petty Officer Chief of Staff Scott Cooper, and former Marine David Perry, who were killed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria between 2015 and 2017, also described the “extreme mental anguish and extreme emotional pain and suffering” they experienced. have suffered since the deaths in the lawsuit.