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Families of US troops killed by Daesh sue French firm over terror support

Families of US soldiers who were killed by Daesh have sued the French company LaFarge, which pleaded guilty earlier this year to paying bribes to the terrorist organisations Daesh and Al Nusra Front to keep a cement plant in Syria operational during the war.

According to the lawsuit brought by the families of three US military personnel killed by Daesh, Lafarge’s “economic self-interest” contributed to the killing of civilians and American nationals. 

The defendants were aware the “material support” paid to the terror groups “would be used to commit acts of international terrorism”, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit went on to allege that the payments made by the defendants allowed the organisation to grow from a small militia during the 2010s “into a brutal terroristic behemoth with the capability and intent to kill Americans”. 

READ MORE: Lafarge pleads guilty to supporting Daesh, agrees to pay $778M fine

“Defendants aided and abetted ISIS’s (Daesh) and ANF’s (Al Nusra Front) acts of international terrorism by knowingly providing substantial assistance, including by making cash and covert payments through foreign shell companies and intermediaries to, purchasing raw material from, and making anti-competitive agreements with, the foreign terrorist organizations, and by failing to safely shut down and evacuate the Cement Plant, thereby placing tons of valuable cement and raw materials in the hands of ISIS and ANF,” said the lawsuit.

Al Nusra Front, currently called Hayat Tahrir al Sham, broke away from Al Qaeda in July 2016. 

READ MORE: Lafarge financed Daesh with knowledge of French intelligence – report

More families ‘expected to join’ lawsuit

Lee Wolosky a Partner at Jenner and Block LLP, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said that “Lafarge has already pled guilty to federal crimes and admitted to paying millions of dollars to ISIS. This lawsuit is intended to hold it accountable to the military families devastated by its heinous and unlawful conduct.”

Wolosky added in a statement that “we expect more families to join the lawsuit and we look forward to bringing the case to trial before a jury of New Yorkers”.

Lafarge has issued no immediate response.

The lawsuit comes after the French cement giant pleaded guilty in October in a US court to a charge of providing material support to a terrorist organisation. It also agreed to pay a $778 million fine. 

The admission of guilt and fine were part of the Washington’s first-ever legal proceedings against a company for providing material support to terrorist groups.

In France, the company is facing charges of “complicity in crimes against humanity“.

Watch: French Cement Giant to Pay Nearly $800M Fine For Aiding Daesh

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