Feds Build Case Against Muslim Charity

August 4, 2007


Source: Washington Post

Wire Service: AP


DALLAS -- More than a decade of bank records, phone calls and videos collected by the FBI are helping federal prosecutors build their case against a group that was once the nation's largest Muslim charity and now is on trial on terrorism-support charges.

The evidence shows leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development singing pro-Hamas songs and financial dealings with a man the federal government later described as a terrorist.

Whether any of that amounted to a crime seems uncertain after the first two weeks of a trial that could last several into the fall.

Five men are charged with helping finance a terrorist group, conspiracy and money laundering for Hamas, a group that President Clinton designated a terrorist group in 1995.

Defense attorneys say the Holy Land Foundation supported humanitarian efforts in Palestinian neighborhoods and did not knowingly aid Hamas.

The five men on trial aren't accused of being terrorists. Rather, they are charged with funneling $36 million to individuals and groups tied to Hamas, including $12.4 million sent after Clinton's designation.