A New York developer of the World Trade Center complex is accusing an airline of reneging on a promise not to use an "act of war" defense against property claims resulting from the Sept. 11 attacks.

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Developer Larry Silverstein asked a judge Wednesday to reject American Airlines' claim that the 2001 attack was an act of war that should shield it from liability.

Lawyers for Silverstein said in court papers filed in federal court in Manhattan that the airline and its insurance carriers promised Congress, regulators and the American people that the defense would not be used. The lawyers said the aviation industry in return got a massive federal bailout that protected businesses after the attacks.

An American Airlines spokesman says Silverstein's claims have "no factual or legal support."


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