Witches’ brew: Terrorist financing and banking secrecy laws

By Sam Obenhaus

Sometimes the Supreme Court wants a little outside help.  Earlier this week, the high court requested a brief from the Office of the Solicitor General on the legal issues at play in Arab Bank v. Linde.  The case involves a Jordanian bank accused of financing terrorist organizations responsible for crimes committed in Israel and Palestine.  U.S. citizens and foreign nationals brought the case under the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Alien Tort Claims Act.  When a judge sitting in the Eastern District of New York ordered the bank to turn over certain financial records, the bank refused on the grounds that the disclosure would be a violation of Jordanian banking secrecy laws.  The Second Circuit upheld the document production order and the Supreme Court is now weighing whether to hear the case.  Hopefully, the Administration can add some clarity to the Supreme Court’s thinking.  

Bloomberg BNA and Reuters have more on the story.