Politics

Rep. Matt Gaetz Unveils Bill to Provide Compensation to 1996 Khobar Towers Attack Survivors

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Wednesday introduced a bill that if passed into law will allow survivors of the 1996 Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia who were previously overlooked to receive “catch-up” payments authorized by the Fairness for 9/11 Families Act, Breitbart News exclusively learned.

The Fairness for 9/11 Families Act — which amended the Justice for United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorist Act — meant to catch up victims of the Khobar Towers attack with missed prior rounds of compensation, but Congress mistakenly excluded 75 percent of claimants from a one-time, lump-sum payment.

The Act had provided the payments to survivors who had missed all four prior payments, but not those who had missed only some but not all payments. Gaetz’s bill would expand eligibility to those who missed some but not all four prior payments.

“My legislation seeks to fix a technical oversight that left many victims of the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing without the full compensation they deserve,” Gaetz said in a statement first obtained by Breitbart News.

File/Photo released by the US department of defense showing US military personnel surveying the damages to Khobar Towers in Dhahran 26 June caused by the explosion of a fuel truck outside the King Abdul Aziz Air Base. 19 American citizens were killed in the attack. (US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE / AFP) 

“It would ensure that all survivors, including the brave service members residing in Florida’s First Congressional District who bore the brunt of that tragic day, are treated with the fairness and respect owed to them,” he added.

The attack occurred on the night of Jne 25, 1996, when a bomb detonated near the Khobar Towers housing complex located in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where U.S. forces supporting a no-fly zone in southern Iraq were housed. Nineteen were killed in the attack, and 498 wounded, some of whom live in Gaetz’s district.

Gaetz’s bill would affect over 200 U.S. airmen who were injured in the bombing, who were erroneously excluded from the Fairness for 9/11 Families Act’s lump sum catch-payment provision.

Joshua M. Ambush, Esq., an attorney representing those families lauded Gaetz’s bill in a letter to the congressman.

File/Photo released by the US department of defense showing US and Saudi military personnel surveying the damages to Khobar Towers in Dhahran 25 June caused by the explosion of a fuel truck outside the King Abdul Aziz Air Base. (US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE / AFP) 

“The Bill for Improvements to the Fairness Act ensures fairness, equal justice, and comfort to these long-suffering victims,” he said, adding that it was a “unique legislative initiative that has no downside.”

“It is bipartisan, improves the lives of hundreds of military veterans who are victims of terrorism, and does not require any additional funding. It simply expands the number of eligible claimants for catch-up payments without diluting the payments to those previously deemed eligible,” he said.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on ”X”, Truth Social, or on Facebook. 

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