The Associated Press is facing a lawsuit by several American survivors of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, accusing the organization of “materially supporting terrorism.”

The New York Post reported that Americans and Israeli-Americans filed a complaint to the Southern District of Florida Wednesday night. They are suing the Associated Press for damages under the Antiterrorism Act, claiming that four freelance photographers on the scene of the attack supported and assisted Hamas.

The survivors, represented by the nonprofit National Jewish Advocacy Center, argued that by paying “known Hamas associates who were gleefully embedded with the Hamas terrorists during the October 7th attacks,” the Associated Press was indirectly funding a terrorist organization.

“There is no doubt that AP’s photographers participated in the October 7th massacre, and that AP knew, or at the very least should have known, through simple due diligence, that the people they were paying were longstanding Hamas affiliates and full participants in the terrorist attack that they were also documenting,” the complaint read.

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One of the photographers the lawsuit cited included Hassan Eslaiah, a freelance photojournalist who worked with several outlets such as CNN and the New York Times. After a 2020 image of Eslaiah with Hamas commander Yahya Sinwar resurfaced online, media outlets, including the Associated Press, cut ties with him. However, the lawsuit alleged that the AP continued to pay Eslaiah despite knowing about his possible Hamas connections.

“AP willfully chose to turn a blind eye to these facts, and instead profited from its terrorist photographer’s participation in the massacre through its publication of the ‘exclusive’ images, for which it certainly paid a premium, effectively funding a terrorist organization,” the complaint claimed.

In a statement, the AP said that, while it has “the deepest sympathy for those affected by the horrific Oct. 7 attacks in Israel,” the lawsuit is “baseless.”

“AP had no advance knowledge of the Oct. 7 attacks, nor have we seen any evidence – including in the lawsuit – that the freelance journalists who contributed to our coverage did. Allegations like this are reckless and create even more potential danger for journalists in the region,” the statement read.

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It added, “Documenting breaking news events around the world – no matter how horrific – is our job. Without AP and other news organizations, the world would not have known what was happening on Oct. 7.”

The AP was previously accused of having possible knowledge of the attack before it occurred and withheld it from the public. The outlet denied these allegations, noting no Associated Press staff were at the Israeli border at the time and photos at the time were acquired by freelancers.

At least 33 Americans were killed in the initial Oct. 7 attack against Israel, with at least 14 taken hostage.

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