International Law Keyed to Damrosche
Gates v. Syrian Arab Republic
Two U.S. contractors named Armstrong and Hensley were beheaded by the al-Qaeda in Iraq. The loss of these men prompted their families to file charges against the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) (D), its president (D) and its intelligence minister (D). The families also sought damages under the FSIA and asserted state-law claims for battery, assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, wrongful death, survival damages, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting.The allegation which the plaintiffs had against the defendants was that they provided material support and resources to al-Qaeda in Iraq and its leader Zarqawi. The court proceeded to a default setting which was required under the FSIA as a requirement of an entry of a default judgment against a non-responding foreign state where the claimant proves its case beyond reasonable doubt. The court had to take this part because none of the defendants appeared before it.The court however concluded that support for Zarqawi and his al-Qaeda network from the Syrian territory or Syrian government actors could have been accomplished without the authorization of the Syrian government and its military intelligence. But whether Syria (D) could be held accountable for money damages under the FSIA for the beheading of Armstrong and Hensley was given adequate attention by the court.
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