Judge awards $1 billion-plus to terrorism victims

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge has awarded more than $1 billion each to 26 victims -- including estates and family members -- of the deadly 1985 terrorist attacks on the Rome and Vienna airports.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola issued the award against Syria. He concluded the attacks by the Abu Nidal Organization could not have taken place "without Syria's direct support."

The money includes compensatory and punitive damages, as well as interest. It will be difficult to collect, as Syria is unlikely to pay it.

Among those awarded money in the lawsuit is Victor L. Simpson, the Rome bureau chief for The Associated Press. His 11-year-old daughter, Natasha, was killed in the attack at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport. Simpson and his son Michael were injured.


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