Saturday, April 1

Victim’s are: 9/11 family members short-changed by Biden plan for frozen Afghan funds

President Joe Biden’s executive order meant to free up $3.5 billion in frozen Afghan funds for the benefit of the Afghan people, while leaving at least that amount to settle claims of 9/11 victims’ families in the United States, has drawn fire from one of those family members.

Brett Eagleson, son of Bruce Eagleson, who died in the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center, has protested that it’s unfair to make victims’ families litigate to seek a share of the frozen funds.

A cousin of a man who was aboard hijacked United Flight 93 when it crashed near Shanksville, Somerset County, on 9/11 indicated he’ll be satisfied as long as affected families get their day in court.

Eagleson indicated he was speaking for “many in the 9/11 community” when he issued this statement Friday:

“News reports today indicating that billions of dollars of Afghan funds currently frozen by the US government may soon be directed to only a small percentage of 9/11 families — the family members of only 47 of the victims murdered that day — are extremely troubling, if accurate. All family members of those killed on 9/11 in the terrorist attacks must be treated equally.


• Biden frees frozen Afghan billions for relief, 9/11 victims

”Anything short of equitable treatment for and among the 9/11 families as it relates to these frozen assets is outrageous and will be seen as a betrayal by the federal government of the 9/11 community at large. There are almost 3,000 families who lost loved ones in the attacks of September 11, 2001 — attacks that were supported by the Taliban and planned on Afghan soil. No one life taken at the hands of terrorists is worth more than another.

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“We firmly support the distribution of a large portion of these frozen assets to help mitigate the horrific humanitarian crisis and as aid to those suffering in Afghanistan today. However, for those funds intended for the 9/11 families, leaving this matter to a court, as this action by the (Biden) administration would do, will force the families of those killed on 9/11 to fight amongst each other. That is wrong, unfair and unjust.

“The best, most equitable plan would be for the administration to order these $3.5 billion frozen Afghan funds directly into the existing fund established for such distribution purposes under The Justice for United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act. Any mechanism that treats some victims’ families as less deserving or that prioritizes some victims over others is an insult to the memories of those victims of this mass murder.”

Patrick White of Naples, Fla., cousin of Flight 93 passenger Louis Nacke, said he supports 9/11 family members “having a full opportunity to have their claims against the Taliban and the retained (Da Afghanistan Bank) funds heard in courts. And I am fully supportive of this administration’s unceasing efforts to provide fiscal and health aid to the Afghani citizens outside of Taliban control.”

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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