A Portland attorney who sued Syria and that country’s military intelligence in connection with the 2005 bombings of three hotels in Jordan won a multimillion-dollar judgment Tuesday on behalf of the American victims.

The default judgment, handed down in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., awarded $347,622,009 to the families of the American victims, Lina Mansoor Thuneibat, 9, who died at the Radisson SAS hotel; and Mousab Ahmad Khorma, 39, a deputy chairman of the Cairo Amman Bank who was killed at the Grand Hyatt hotel, according to court documents. The bombings, including a third at the Days Inn, were in Amman.

Attorney F.R. Jenkins, of the Meridian 361 law firm in Portland that specializes in international law, filed the suit in January 2012 on behalf of the families of Thuneibat and Khorma. He argued that the Syrian government had sponsored and supported terrorism, which included providing funding for the group that armed the Amman suicide bombers.

“The judgment is an important assertion of the rule of law over the lawless act of terrorism,” Jenkins said in an email Wednesday.

He vowed to pursue Syrian assets to ensure that the judgment would be paid.

“I am pleased to say that I have collected millions of dollars for my terror victim clients, and I expect to again,” he said.


Jenkins also acknowledged the difficulties inherent in going after a nation, like Syria, that sponsors terrorism.

“Syria engages in well-documented litigation tactics that are designed to delay justice, weaving in and out of the litigation,” Jenkins said. “Syria has been criticized and rebuked by the federal courts for these tactics.”

The suicide bombings on Nov. 9, 2005, killed more than 60 people, including Thuneibat and Khorma, and injured 115. Nadira Thuneibat, Lina’s mother, was injured in the bombing at the Radisson, according to a legal memorandum filed with the judgment Tuesday.

Jenkins said the case was important to him personally.

“My clients are practicing Muslims, who reject terrorism, and whose families live peaceably with Christians and Jews in a region torn by sectarian conflict,” he said. “It seems obvious, but we must resist generalizations. Terrorism claims Muslim victims, and not all Muslims are willing to rationalize terrorism as a legitimate tool for achieving political ends. It’s very important for people to hear at this time.”

Jenkins in 2013 won a $25 billion judgment, one of the largest in U.S. history, against the Syrian government for attacks at airports in Rome and Vienna in 1985 that killed 19 people and injured 107.


In that case, Jenkins represented 25 people who were injured or whose family members died in the simultaneous attacks on Dec. 27, 1985, when four terrorists with machine guns opened fire at the airport in Rome and threw hand grenades into lines of passengers checking in at El Al and TWA counters. Four terrorists attacked the airport in Vienna in the same manner.

At the time, Jenkins said he pursued the case against the Syrian government despite the civil war raging in that country and the challenges in getting its government to recognize the judgment.

“It’s intended to punish and deter Syria and others from this kind of state-sponsored terrorism,” Jenkins said in 2013. “If there is no state sponsorship, terrorist organizations can’t exist. These lawsuits which target the state sponsors are putting pressure where it belongs.”

Jenkins said the U.S. government created the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund last year, using part of a $9 billion fine paid by French bank BNP Paribas in 2014 for violating U.S. federal sanctions by laundering money for Iran and Sudan. He said he hopes to enroll his clients in the fund, which is paid to U.S. terrorism victims who have valid but unsatisfied judgments against state sponsors of terrorism.

“The fund is finite and will most likely be exhausted quickly by outstanding judgments, however, it is expected to be replenished with future bank fines,” Jenkins said in an email. “We are working to position our clients to participate in the fund.”

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