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Judge: Binladen Group can't be sued

A construction company founded by Osama bin Laden's father cannot be sued to recover money for survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks, a judge has ruled, because no evidence has emerged to show the company provided a "financial lifeline" to the terrorist leader after he was removed as a shareholder following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Judge George B. Daniels in Manhattan released a decision Wednesday dismissing the Saudi Binladen Group as a defendant in six lawsuits brought by more than 3,000 survivors of the attacks, relatives, victims' representatives and insurance carriers.

They allege more than 200 defendants provided material support to terrorists.

The defendants include al-Qaida, its members and associates. The suit also names charities, banks, front organizations, terrorist groups and financiers.

Lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit alleged that proceeds used to support terrorism came from a successor to a construction company founded by bin Laden's father that is now one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the Arab world.

It said the company provided "significant support to bin Laden before he was removed as a shareholder in 1993 with knowledge that he was targeting the United States" and continued to provide a "financial lifeline" to him afterward.

Daniels said the business activities of the subsidiary were irrelevant since it had closed by 2000 and other business activities by the group in the U.S. were sporadic or casual.

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