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Judge Says Al-Qaida Owes Businesses $9.3 Billion For 9/11 Damage

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Exiled al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is seen in this April 1998 picture in Afghanistan. American officials said they are looking at Bin Laden for involvement in the Friday, Aug. 7, 1998 Kenyan and Tanzanian U.S. embassy explosions. He has threatened a holy war against U.S. troops and Americans, and is suspected of backing other terrorist acts, including the 1996 attack in Saudi Arabia. (credit:AP Photo)

Exiled al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is seen in this April 1998 picture in Afghanistan. American officials said they are looking at Bin Laden for involvement in the Friday, Aug. 7, 1998 Kenyan and Tanzanian U.S. embassy explosions. He has threatened a holy war against U.S. troops and Americans, and is suspected of backing other terrorist acts, including the 1996 attack in Saudi Arabia. (credit:AP Photo)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A magistrate judge in New York has recommended that al-Qaida be assessed $9.3 billion for the damage done to properties and businesses in the September 11 attacks.

In a ruling Friday, Federal Magistrate Judge Frank Maas sent the recommendation to a district judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by several insurance companies.

The companies in 2003 had sued various defendants, seeking damages for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that demolished the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

Al-Qaida never responded to the lawsuit and was found in default in 2006. Maas determined the actual damages and then tripled them as allowed by law.

At this time, they were only seeking an assessment of damages against al-Qaida.

The organization founded by Osama bin Laden is blamed for orchestrating the attacks.

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