Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Hundreds allege the Swedish telecommunications company paid protection money to terror groups
Ericsson is being sued by hundreds of Americans who say the company’s alleged payment of bribes to al Qaeda and Islamic State—protection money meant to let it operate in Iraq—also helped fund acts of terror.
The Stockholm-based telecommunications company, which was sued Friday in federal court in Washington, D.C., faces claims from more than 500 U.S. service members and civilians who were victims of terrorist attacks and hostage takings from 2005 to 2021, along with the families of those killed in attacks.
They brought their claims under the Antiterrorism Act of 1990, which allows victims of terrorism to seek damages in U.S. courts, including against companies and individuals that aid and abet terrorism.
The terror victims accused Ericsson of paying money to terrorist factions that controlled swaths of Iraq, in a bid to stop them from hampering its business. The financing ultimately aided a campaign of kidnapping, torture, bombing and murder, they said.
The company and its U.S. subsidiary “funded the terrorists to leave them alone,” the victims said in their legal complaint.
“The payments saved Ericsson money,” they said in the complaint. “It was cheaper to pay off al-Qaeda and Islamic State than to invest in the security necessary to mitigate the terrorists’ threats.”
The money that Ericsson allegedly sent to terrorists in Iraq ultimately helped finance attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, the victims allege.