Does 1-7 v. Taliban

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA JOHN DOES 1 THROUGH 7, Plaintiffs, v. No. 21-mc-00110 (DLF) THE TALIBAN, AL-QAEDA, and THE HAQQANI NETWORK, Defendants. MEMORANDUM OPINION John Does 1 through 7 bring this miscellaneous action against the International Monetary Fund (the Fund) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank). The plaintiffs previously obtained a judgment in a district court against the Taliban, Al- Qaeda, and the Haqqani Network, and they ask this Court to attach certain funds held by the Fund and the World Bank allegedly belonging to the central bank of Afghanistan. Before the Court is the Fund’s Motion to Quash Service of Process, Dkt. 14, and the World Bank’s Motion to Quash Writ of Attachment, Dkt. 19. Because the Court lacks jurisdiction to attach the funds, it will grant the motions. I. BACKGROUND On March 20, 2020, the plaintiffs brought suit against the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and the Haqqani Network in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Compl., John Does 1 through 7 v. Taliban, No. 20-cv-00605, at 1 (N.D. Tex. Mar. 20, 2020), Dkt. 1. They alleged damages as the result of a terrorist attack committed jointly by the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and the Haqqani Network. Id. On November 5, 2020, the court entered a default judgment in favor of the plaintiffs for $138,418,741. Final Default J., John Does, No. 20-cv-00605, Dkt. 22. On December 9, 2020, the court granted the plaintiffs’ Motion for Issuance of Writs of Execution and issued the writs. Order, John Does, No. 20-cv-00605, Dkt. 25; Writs of Execution, John Does, No. 20-cv- 00605, Dkt. 27. The writs applied to “goods and chattels, lands and tenements” and “blocked assets” of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and the Haqqani Network or “any agency or instrumentality thereof.” Writs of Execution at 2. In August 2021, The Taliban took control of Afghanistan and soon after took control of Afghanistan’s government-owned central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank. Pls.’ Resp. to Fund’s Mot. to Quash Service of Process at 5, Dkt. 20. The plaintiffs allege that both the Fund and the World Bank had planned to disburse funds to Da Afghanistan Bank, but froze those disbursements when the Taliban took over the country. Id. at 6. The plaintiffs thus allege that the Fund and the World Bank hold blocked assets of the Taliban, and they attempt to attach those assets to satisfy the default judgment. See Resp. to Praecipe at 1, Dkt. 9; Pls.’ Resp. to World Bank’s Mot. to Quash Writ of Attach. at 6–7, Dkt. 21. On August 20, 2021, the plaintiffs registered the default judgment with this Court, Dkt. 1, and the clerk issued a writ of attachment applicable to both the Fund and the World Bank, Dkt. 2. The plaintiffs attempted to serve both defendants with the writ, and when other forms of service failed, they left service documents at the feet of security guards at the Fund and World Bank offices in Washington, D.C. See Aff. of …

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