A Manhattan federal magistrate judge said Friday that Al Qaeda owes more than $9 billion for the damage caused in the 9/11 terror attacks.

Frank Mass recommended the figure as part of a suit brought by a group of American, British and Canadian insurance companies, the New York Daily News reported.

The firms sued Al Qaeda in 2003 for $3.1 billion in damages under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act.

Mass has now tripled the amount after Al Qaeda, which is blamed for the devastating 2001 strikes on the US, did not respond to the ruling and defaulted.

His recommendation must be approved by a federal judge.