Hussein v. Dahabshiil Transfer Servs. Ltd.

United States District Court Southern District of New York

This is a civil action to recover damages for the murder of two United States citizens, Saado Ali Warsame and Abdullahi Ali Anshoor. Warsame and Anshoor were killed in Mogadishu, Somalia in 2014. The First Amended Complaint ("FAC") alleges that they were murdered by the terrorist organization Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen or "al-Shabaab." Plaintiffs, relatives and representatives of the decedents, bring claims under the Anti–Terrorism Act (the "ATA"), 18 U.S.C. § 2333, against four entities that are members of the Dahabshiil hawala network ("Dahabshiil" or the "Network"). A hawala is a network-based method of transferring funds common in the Middle East and South Asia. The FAC alleges that the Defendants conspired to provide material support to al-Shabaab directly through financial contributions and indirectly by facilitating the transfer of funds to al-Shabaab from terrorist financiers abroad.

Before the Court are the Defendants' motions to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1), Rule 12(b)(2), and Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Dkts. 45, 49. Two of the Defendants operate abroad: Dahabshiil Transfer Services Ltd. ("DTS") is based in London; and Dahabshiil PVT ("PVT") is based in Somalia and Somaliland. DTS and PVT argue that the Court does not have personal jurisdiction over them because they do not operate in New York, or in the United States more generally. See Foreign Defs.' Mem. (Dkt. 46) at 13–20. Dahabshil, Inc. and Dahab–Shil, Inc. are U.S.-based members of the Network. They argue that the FAC does not plausibly allege the existence of a conspiracy nor the elements of a claim under the ATA because it does not allege that the Defendants knowingly provided aid to al-Shabaab or that the Defendants proximately caused the murder of Warsame or Anshoor. See U.S. Defs.' Mem. (Dkt. 50) at 19–28. DTS and PVT also join in that argument.

For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS the Defendants' motions to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).