Families of US occupation forces sue Lafarge over funding ISIS
Cement manufacturer Lafarge was convicted last year of bribing a foreign terrorist organization, admitting to making payments to terrorist groups to maintain its operations in Syria.
Families of US occupation forces who were killed or injured in attacks by ISIS and Al-Nusra Front have filed a legal claim against cement manufacturer Lafarge.
The French company was convicted last year of bribing a foreign terrorist organization, admitting to making payments to these groups to maintain its operations in Syria. Under a plea agreement, Lafarge agreed to pay $778 million in forfeiture and fines.
According to the court document submitted to the district court for the Eastern District of New York, Lafarge provided nearly $6 million to the terrorist organizations of ISIS and Al-Nusra Front in Syria. The claimants argued that these payments supported terrorist attacks that targeted their family members. The lawsuit names Lafarge SA, its former Chairman Bruno Lafont, and other executives, seeking punitive damages and compensation.
Recently, CNBC reported that the French company that operated in #Syria and #Iraq, Lafarge Cement, agreed to plead guilty to US federal criminal charges related to millions it paid to fund ISIS from 2012 to 2014. pic.twitter.com/JKmMrXA2yM— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) October 20, 2022
Deceased soldiers and US nationals included Kayla Mueller, an American who was raped and murdered, and journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, who were beheaded by ISIS in 2014.
Lafarge has not yet been officially served with the lawsuit and has refrained from commenting on it. The court document emphasizes that Lafarge's support for ISIS and Al-Nusra Front extended beyond financial transactions, as the company operated a lucrative cement plant in northern Syria and resorted to bribing these terrorist groups to protect its interests.
The company has been reported in 2021 to have funded ISIS with 13 million euros.
At the time, Anadolu Agency revealed that Lafarge not only briefed French intelligence about its support and financing of ISIS and other terror organizations, but it also provided the French government with news and information about northern Syria. The French government, with said information, enabled coordination with ISIS.
A discussion on the relationship between Lafarge and ISIS was carried out in 2018 - an intelligence officer codenamed AM 02 appeared in court and gave a statement. According to the court transcript, the intelligence officer admitted that Lafarge was his source of information in Syria and that the French secret services took advantage of the cement factory in Syria. He also admitted that Lafarge provided cement to armed groups in Syria between 2012 and 2014, including ISIS and Al-Nusra Front.
However, despite all this, the French intelligence did not warn the company that this was a criminal act - there has been no sign of condemnation for the sponsor of terrorism.
Over 30 meetings were carried out between Lafarge and the French domestic, foreign, and military intelligence services between 2013 and 2014 alone.