Steven Vincent had just left a money exchange in the southern Iraqi city of Basra when a group of men in police uniforms drove up in a white truck and grabbed him and his translator.
It was August 2, 2005. Vincent, a freelance American journalist, had reported on the war for two-and-a-half years. British troops occupied Basra, but he operated without an embed arrangement. British and Iraqi authorities later found Vincent on the outskirts of the city shot dead. The Iraqi translator survived.
Bloomberg News reports that three days earlier the New York Times had published an op-ed article by Vincent, 'Switched Off in Basra', in which he described the infiltration of the local police by Iranian-backed Islamic extremists.
'Steven was executed for what he wrote', says his widow, Lisa Ramaci. She’s set up a foundation in his name that donates money to the families of Iraqis injured or killed because of their work with U.S. journalists. And Ramaci did something else. In November she joined a lawsuit on behalf of relatives of U.S. soldiers and civilians who’ve died in Iraq as a result of violence linked to Iranian-backed militias and terrorist groups.
The suit, filed in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., seeks hundreds of millions of dollars not from death squads, whose members aren’t likely to show up with lawyers in tow. Instead, it targets five of the largest banks in the world: HSBC, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Standard Chartered, and Royal Bank of Scotland.
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