On May 13, 1996, 17-year-old David Boim, an American, was standing at a bus stop in the West Bank with fellow yeshiva students when two Palestinian terrorists drove by in a car, shot him in the head, and killed him. Stanley and Joyce Boim, the parents of David, filed a civil suit on May 12, 2000, against all of their son’s killers, Salah, QLI, a high-ranking official of Hamas named Mousa Abu Marzook, and “a network of front organizations” in the US whom they identified as Hamas affiliates. These included the United Association for Studies and Research, a think tank in Annandale, Virginia; the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a charity in Richardson, Texas; and the Islamic Association for Palestine, a nonprofit group also in Richardson, plus two of its affiliates.
The Parents won their law suit but this past December that 150 MILLION Dollar judgement win was overturned by a three Judge Panel. Last week the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the opinion of that three Judge Panel……
By Andrew Cochran
On June 16, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the opinion of a three-judge panel, rendered December 28, 2007, which overturned the landmark $156 million judgment against the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), other Islamic charities in the U.S., and an alleged Hamas fundraiser. The case arose out of the 1996 murder of David Boim, a 17-year-old American citizen, who was killed in a Hamas terrorist attack in the West Bank. David’s parents sued men who were directly involved in the murder; the Holy Land Foundation (HLF); the American Muslim Society, also known as the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP); the Quranic Literacy Institute (QLI); the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR); Saleh, the alleged Hamas fundraiser; and others (see this summary judgement order from the first trial for the complete list). The June 16 decision will result in a rehearing of the case by the entire court in the near future, thus giving the Boim family a second chance at the appellate level. Download the December 28 decision here and the June 16 decision here. We discussed the impact of the December 28 decision at a January briefing for Congressional staff and other invitees. I posted this summary and the comments by Victor Comras and Jeffrey Breinholt (before he returned to active service in the Justice Department) and me. We also posted the following immediately after the December 28 appellate decision: “Landmark Civil Terrorism Decision Overturned – Victory For Holy Land Foundation, Defeat For Terrorism Victims,” my post on December 29, 2007; “Boim Case Reversal Could Be Major Blow To Victim-of-Terrorism Litigants,” Victor Comras’ post on December 29, 2007; and “Why the Boim Ruling is a Pyrrhic Victory for the Islamic Charities,” Jeffrey Breinholt’s post on January 2, 2008. In its June 16 decision, the Seventh Circuit invited supplemental and amicus briefs to address the following question: “Whether a donor to an organization that, the donor knows, practices terrorism, can be liable under 18 U.S.C. §2333(a) in the absence of proof that the donor intended to advance the violent component of the recipient’s activities.” I would urge readers to carefully read Jeff Breinholt’s January 2 post, which presages this question. UPDATE: Jeff sent his reaction to the June 16 decision for this post: “In granting the petition for rehearing, the Seventh Circuit will be positioned to resolve the inconsistency in the panel’s decision, which found that causation has not been adequately shown while simultaneously describing as “adequate” the proof that money from the defendant organizations went to Hamas for its charitable endeavors, and thereby freed up funds that Hamas could use for terrorist activities during the time period when David Boim was killed. An affirmative decision on the issue identified by the Seventh Circuit for en banc review will conform the legal standard to what is required to establish criminal liability under 18 U.S.C. §2339B.” A reminder: On December 11, the Counterterrorism Foundation, along with the NEFA Foundation and International Assessment and Strategy Center, conducted a special panel, “Infiltration and Deception: The Holy Land Foundation and the Muslim Brotherhood in America,” on Capitol Hill. You can read the comments by participants Douglas Farah, Michael Fechter, Jeffrey Breinholt, and me at this post. The post includes links to studies which include exhibits presented in evidence at the HLF criminal trial last year, which ended in a mistrial and will be retried.