Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Holy Land Foundation Trial
Ghassan Elashi-CEO of Holy Land Foundation
Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
On November 24, 2008, a jury in Dallas convicted 5 members of the Islamic charity Holy Land Foundation(HLF)for funneling approximately 12 million dollars to the terrorist organization, Hamas, disguised as charitable contributions to the Middle East, principally in the Palestinian territory. This ended a years-long effort by federal authorities to bring the leaders of the Holy Land Foundation in the US to justice.
In 2001, the US Government froze the assets of the HLF as did the EU. Three years later, in 2004, a federal grand jury in Dallas indicted the organization and several of its members on 42 counts of providing financial aid to a designated terrorist organization (Hamas). It is believed that much of the funding went into the recruitment of suicide bombers (including the indoctrination of school children) targeted against Israeli civilians. In July of 2007, a mistrial was declared when jurors were unable to agree on a verdict. This week marked the culmination of the retrial. The jury deliberated eight days before convicting the defendants, who are identified below:
Shukri Abu Bakjer
Due to the possibility of long prison terms, the defendants were remanded to custody pending sentencing.
Below is a link to the US Government witness list:
Note the expected testimony of several of the witnesses linking the HLF not only to Hamas but to the Muslim Brotherhood, that organization that portrays itself as a peace-loving opponent of terrorism.
Another piece of evidence introduced at the trial was an interesting document entitled: "An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America", which is dated 5/22/1991. It was written by Mohamed Akram and consists of 18 pages in English. It is addressed to several Muslim groups in North America. This document is stamped, "US v HLF (Holy Land Foundation) and bears prosecution exhibit number 003-0085, which identifies it as a government exhibit in the the Holy Land Foundation prosecution. It is now in the public venue.
Of particular interest is page 7 of the document, section 4, which is entitled:
"Understanding the Role of the Muslim Brother in North America". It reads;
"The process of settlement is a 'Civilization-Jihadist Process' with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim's destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen be equal".
On October 8, 2008, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, Ibrahim El-Houdaiby, appeared at the University of California at Irvine. He spoke to a group of students in a class per the invitation of Professor Mark LeVine, a Middle East expert who is known to be sympathetic to the Palestinian side in the struggle against Israel. The appearance was open to the public. During the speech, El-Houdaiby presented the Muslim Brotherhood as a peaceful organization that opposed violence. During the Q&A, I confronted El-Houdaibi with the above document and gave him both Arabic and English copies as I read the document for the audience. El-Houdaiby promptly questioned where I had obtained the document and pronounced it a forgery. What ensued was a series of exchanges between El-Houdaiby and me on this blog in which he insisted the document was a forgery and that the Muslim Brotherhood was a non-violent organization.
So what does the verdict in the Holy Land Foundation tell us? Without trying to paint all US Muslims as terrorist supporters, I think it illustrates the undeniable fact that we have a cancer growing in this country. Of course, I understand that very few Muslims in the US could be expected to take the Israeli side. Yet, Israel is our ally, and we are committed to support that country. If US Muslims are sending funds to organizations like Hamas, they are not only supporting terror, but they are working at cross purposes with our government as well.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, with the exception of the Dallas newspapers, it seems that the mainstream media (once again) has chosen not to make this front-page news.
The convictions in Dallas are encouraging. Yet, they are disturbing as well because we are going to have to face an unpleasant truth. We have a 5th column in this country. It is not all Muslims, but there is a segment we need to be concerned about.