By Jeremy Herb - 03/19/14 09:54 AM EDT
The families of three Navy SEALs who were killed in a 2011 helicopter crash claim Afghan forces informed the Taliban about the mission beforehand, disputing the Pentagon version of events.
The three families filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday against Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Taliban, and Iran, claiming the Taliban were tipped off to the SEAL mission, known as “Extortion 17,” in which 30 U.S. troops and eight Afghans were killed.
The Pentagon has said the mission was not compromised. At a House Oversight Committee hearing last month on the crash, Defense officials said the Taliban had no advance knowledge of the U.S. mission, saying the information could not have reached the Taliban ahead of time.
The three families in the lawsuit, however, said they were not satisfied with the responses from the Pentagon at the hearing.
The families are being represented by Larry Klayman, who founded the conservative group Freedom Watch.
The lawsuit seeks $600 million. It claims that Karzai sold the location of the SEAL team to the Taliban and accuses Iran of financing the Afghan government and terror groups.
While the lawsuit is unlikely to secure any payouts, Klayman is looking to use the discovery process to force the Pentagon to divulge more information about the Extortion 17 crash.
“This case is not only intended to bring justice and thus closure to this tragedy, but to use the discovery process in court to answer many ignored questions about the causes of the crash,” Klayman said. “Thus far, the Obama administration has stonewalled the families and congressional committees investigating the deaths of these valiant heroes."
The parents of the slain SEALs on the lawsuit are Charles and Mary Strange, Douglas and Shaune Hamburger, and Phouthasith Douangdara.