Lots of action surrounding the Funding terror trial of the Holy Land foundation. Another Israeli witness testified. This one testified as Hamas Expert and detailed the tangled web of “charity” foundations that served to raise money for the the terrorist group.
HLF Trial Update: 2nd Israeli Witness Takes the Stand By The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) The usual tranquility of the overflow courtroom in the Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse in Dallas was disturbed Wednesday, as supporters of the defendants in the government’s case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) were forced to leave the main courtroom of Judge A. Joe Fish, as the prosecution called an expert witness from Israel. The man, testifying under the pseudonym “Avi,” is an attorney for the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) and is an expert in the global HAMAS social structure. Many of the observers vocally objected to his appearance as an expert, asking each other what qualifications he really has. “Avi” was certified by Judge Fish on Monday as an expert witness because of his years of experience investigating the subject for the Israeli government. In his testimony this morning, “Avi” did not rely on any classified information, rather he focused on evidence that he gathered through HAMAS and HAMAS related websites, websites of the various charitable committees linked to HAMAS in the West Bank and Gaza, Arab language newspapers and television, and HAMAS videos. “Avi” underwent direct examination throughout the morning, describing the global network of HAMAS linked charities which were created by the terrorist group’s leaders in the West Bank and Gaza in the early 1990’s. He testified that these organizations did not just appear out of the blue but that this network was organized and created by design.
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According to “Avi,” these funds shared common characteristics regardless of the country in which they operated, be it in the United States, England, Germany, or any one of a number of others which housed HAMAS charities. These characteristics included: registration as non-profit organizations, local HAMAS activists and leaders as top officials in the various entities, the use of newspapers to publish HAMAS pamphlets and messages, support for the same organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and finally all of these charities supported specialized segments of the population, notably the families of HAMAS martyrs and prisoners. This HAMAS social network gradually spread throughout Europe. In a letter recovered from the offices of HLF and written to Akram Mishaal, a defendant in the HLF case who served as HLF’s Programs and Grants Director, Amin Abou Ibrahim, a HAMAS leader and head of the Dutch Branch of the German based Al-Aqsa Foundation, listed for Mishaal the “addresses of the charitable organizations working for Palestine in Europe.” The letter, dated April 2, 2001, indicated that Mishaal requested this list which included Al Aqsa Foundation offices in Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, and Holland. Al Aqsa and all of its branch offices were designated as terrorist entities by OFAC on May 29, 2003. The list also included Interpal in Britain, the Charitable Organization for the Support of Palestine (CBSP) in France, the Association for Palestine in Austria, and the Relief Organization for Palestine in Switzerland, all of which were designated as terrorist entities by OFAC on August 21, 2003. In its announcement concerning those designations, the Department of Treasury proclaimed that, “Today’s action follows several actions taken against Hamas previously, including the designation of several entities that formed part of the Hamas network such as Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and the Al Aqsa Foundation, key sources of financial support for Hamas.”
In a story related to the trial going on in Texas, many of the Muslim organization are fighting their designation as unindicted co-conspirators in the ongoing Holy Land Foundation trial. The claim it is just another example of the US govt’s effort to defame the entire Muslim community that has been going on since 9/11. I guess that all of those examples of CAIR meeting with Hamas, or praising terrorist activities has nothing to do with it:
Muslim Groups Oppose a List of ‘Co-Conspirators’ By NEIL MacFARQUHAR Two prominent Muslim American organizations took steps yesterday to reverse what they called a Justice Department effort to smear the entire Muslim community by naming some of its largest organizations as unindicted co-conspirators in a Texas terrorism trial. The National Association of Muslim Lawyers, which is not named, sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales objecting to the list, which it said breached the department’s own guidelines against releasing the names of unindicted co-conspirators and did not serve any clear law enforcement purpose. The letter, also signed by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, said the “overreaching list” of more than 300 organizations and individuals would further cripple charitable donations to Muslim organizations and could ratchet up the discrimination faced by American Muslims since the Sept. 11 attacks. In addition, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, which is on the list, announced that it would file a brief today asking Judge A. Joe Fish of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas to remove its name and all others from the list. The brief, a copy of which was released yesterday, says the list furthers a pattern of the “demonization of all things Muslim” that has unrolled in the United States since 2001. “Most people don’t understand what an unindicted co-conspirator is,” said Parvez Ahmed, CAIR’s board chairman, adding that the release of the list prompted death threats and hate mail against the council. “They think that being related to a terrorism case means we are terrorists.” The unindicted co-conspirators were named in the case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which opened July 16. The charity and five of its officers are accused of providing material support for terrorism by funneling millions of charitable dollars to the Palestinian organization Hamas. The federal government ordered the foundation shuttered in December 2001. Technically, the prosecution can introduce statements made by any individual or organization named as an unindicted co-conspirator without such statements being dismissed as hearsay. Those on the list have not been charged with anything, but they are concerned that the label of unindicted co-conspirator will forever taint them, particularly if the Holy Land group is convicted, and that they will have no legal recourse. On July 13, Judge Fish barred lawyers from discussing the case with reporters. A Justice Department spokesman, Bryan Sierra, said the order prevented him from commenting about the list, as did the spokeswoman for the United States attorney in Dallas, Kathy Colvin. Before the judge’s order, however, the prosecution, while acknowledging that the list was unusually long, maintained that the names of the organizations would have come up in the trial anyway. Defense lawyers accused the Justice Department of using the list to create the aura of a vast conspiracy where none existed. Both the National Association of Muslim Lawyers and CAIR said they were working in uncharted legal territory, as they had been unable to find firm legal precedents about how an unindicted co-conspirator could be removed from such a list. Many organizations named are foreign, but among the most notable in the United States are the Islamic Society of North America, the largest Muslim umbrella organization, and the North American Islamic Trust. The Islamic Society said in a statement that it, too, was seeking a legal recourse, while the North American Islamic Trust did not respond to telephone calls seeking comment.