On 15 December 2011 Federal Judge George Daniels entered default judgement against Iran, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah finding each liable for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. The $100 billion law suit brought by family members of the victims of the attacks is now to be considered by a Magistrate Judge who will decide remaining issues, including the assessment of compensatory and punitive damages.

The judgement is a controversial one in that it attributes liability for the attack to Iran. An Iranian Government memorandum was lead as evidence of Iran’s involvement. It purportedly showed that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had prior knowledge of the attacks. The Iranian Government has repeatedly denied any connection with the World Trade Centre attacks.

Will insurers who have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation consider recovery claims against any or all of the named defendants? Collecting the money may be a problem.