Skip to content


Schumer Announces That The Senate Has Passed His Bipartisan Legislation- JASTA- Which Will Allow Victims of 9/11 and Other Terrorist Acts to Sue Foreign Countries That Funded Terrorists Groups Like Al Qaeda, ISIS and Others

For Months, Schumer Has Rallied With 9/11 Families For Final Passage of ‘JASTA’, Which Addresses An Injustice for Americans Victims of Terror – Recent Unfair Court Decisions Have Prevented Them From Suing Groups & Countries That Funded The Terror That Took Their Loved Ones

Schumer: We Are One Step Closer to Holding Those That Fund Terrorist Acts Financially Accountable – House Must Act

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” (JASTA) has passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent, a massive step towards allowing victims of 9/11 and other terrorist acts to sue foreign countries that funded terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, ISIS and others. Schumer has rallied with families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to pass this legislation, which works to deter international terrorism and guarantee access to financial justice for those who have suffered at terrorists’ hands, and now calls on the House of Representatives to pass this legislation. Schumer co-sponsored this legislation with Senator Cornyn (R-TX).

Since the 9/11 attacks, some court decisions have improperly blocked terrorism-related claims that Congress intended to permit. Based on the rulings, without Schumer’s legislation, Americans may have no recourse against the foreign states and groups that sponsor terrorist attacks. Schumer said that JASTA, if passed into law, will finally help the victims of 9/11 achieve justice by allowing them to sue countries that fund terrorist groups, like Al Qaeda. JASTA would also allow a family member to sue those that fund ISIS, Hamas and other groups, should they kill an American in an act of terrorism.

“No amount of compensation will ever repair the broken hearts of a family that lost a loved one to mindless hate on September 11th, but without passage of JASTA these families are being denied the ability to hold accountable foreign sponsors of terrorism because of a major loophole in our legal system. I am very proud that the Senate has passed the bipartisan Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, and I urge that the House also amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act to allow victims and their families to hold accountable the sponsors of heinous acts like 9/11.”

Several court decisions since September 11th have improperly blocked terrorism-related claims that Congress intended to permit. For example, the second Circuit In re Terrorist Attacks of September 11th, 2001, has held that sovereign immunity protected foreign government “charities” from 9/11 victims’ claims regarding support for those attacks and that aiding and abetting theories are unavailable under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1991 (ATA). That court further ruled that terror victims pursing ATA claims must satisfy a strict proximate causation test. As current law stands, the families of Americans who were injured or killed in terrorist attacks, like those who were tragically struck on September 11th, 2001, may have no recourse against the foreign states and groups that sponsor such attacks.

JASTA allows terrorism victims, like victims of the September 11th attacks, the right to pursue foreign states and sponsors of terrorism in federal court. The bill allows Americans to direct financial damage claims against those who funded the attacks. The legislation would also afford this right to families of other American victims of terrorism, that have occurred since September 11, 2001. 

Specifically, Senator Schumer’s legislation amends the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act by ensuring:

  • that victims of terror inside the United States receive the same protections as victims of terror outside the United States;
  • that liability clearly exists for aiders and abettors of terrorism;
  • and that foreign states that commit terrorist acts in the United States can be held accountable under the Anti-Terrorism Act. 

 Senator Schumer’s Senate floor statement calling for Unanimous Consent to pass this legislation is available upon request.