Trials & Litigation

Muslim Charity, 5 Leaders Convicted in Hamas Terrorism Aid Case

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A major Muslim charitable organization and five of its former leaders were convicted by a federal court jury in Texas today of aiding terrorism via their charitable contributions.

Prosecutors claimed that the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development funded terrorism by paying for charitable projects controlled by Hamas, thus freeing up funds that the militant Palestinian organization could use for nefarious purposes, explains the Associated Press. Because Hamas has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States government, it was illegal to contribute funds to group.

A relative of one of the convicted men, however, said her father is an honorable man being persecuted for his religious beliefs. ”I feel heartbroken that a group of my fellow Americans fell for the prosecution’s fear-mongering theory,” said Noor Elashi, daughter of former Holy Land CEO Ghassan Elashi. ”This is truly a low point for the United States of America, but this is not over.”

Because sentences could be hefty, U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis ordered the leaders held until sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled. An earlier trial in the case ended in a mistrial last year.

“The unanimous verdicts are a complete victory for the government, which streamlined its case after a mistrial last year, and worked hard to carefully educate jurors on the complex evidence presented in the massive case,” reports the Dallas Morning News. “Guilty verdicts were read on 108 separate charges.”

Earlier coverage:

Critics See Terrorism Prosecution Blunders

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