The 1983 Suicide Bomber Attack On US Embassy In Beirut

Marines Beruit

A suicide bomber attacked the United States Embassy in 1983, leaving many military members dead and injured in the aftermath.

Peaceful Station

Marines were stationed in Beirut in the old Israeli Army barracks, close to the Beirut International Airport. There were 1,800 Marine peacekeepers. They kept a non-militarized stance and did not have a strong perimeter. Weapons were not loaded, and the barracks only had two-foot walls.

On October 23, at 6:30 a.m., the suicide bomber drove a truck filled with two thousand pounds of explosive straight into the barracks. When the explosion went off, it killed 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and 3 soldiers.

The bomb earned the status of the most lethal and powerful car bomb that has ever gone off. As a result of the attacks, defense tactics changed. Bollards and barriers were added to stop any incoming vehicle attacks.

Lawsuit Settlement

A sum of $920 million was awarded to the 80 victims of the 1983 bombing of the USMC barracks in Beirut in 2018. The federal judge ruled against Iran for their support of the terrorist group Hezbollah. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2014 by Cohen Milstein Sellers Toll PPLC, a plaintiff’s law firm. The firm sued Iran on behalf of the 80 victims.

Usually, foreign governments are granted immunity from being sued by the United States. However, Cohen Milstein argued that the victims deserved compensation because of the exception clause in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

The exception said that citizens could sue a foreign country if they were a victim of terrorism condoned by that country. They argued that Hezbollah attacked under the direction of Iran with their full support.

Iran did not respond to the lawsuit, so U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth awarded about $207.2 million in compensatory damages and $712.8 million in punitive damages to the plaintiffs, who were service members injured the family members and estates of the service members who died.

Sources: 1, 2

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