Ex-Diplomat Testifies for Muslim Charity

September 4, 2007


Source: The Detroit News

Wire Service: AP


DALLAS (AP) -- Israeli intelligence about Palestinian groups that a Muslim charity aided was often unreliable, a former senior U.S. diplomat testified Tuesday at the organization's trial on terrorism-support charges.

Edward Abing[t]on, who served as U.S. consul-general in Jerusalem during the 1990s, said the Israelis had an "agenda" and provided "selective information to try to influence U.S. thinking."

Abing[t]on's testimony took dead aim at prosecutors' claims that the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was knowingly funding terrorists instead of providing humanitarian aid.

Holy Land, once the nation's largest Muslim charity, and five of its leaders are charged with funneling millions in illegal aid to Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that the U.S. government considers a terrorist organization.

Prosecutors say Texas-based Holy Land funded schools and hospitals it knew were run by Hamas.