Holy Land Trial Turns to Israeli Agent

August 9, 2007


Source: The Dallas Morning News


The federal judge presiding over the Holy Land Foundation terror finance trial ordered his courtroom cleared of spectators Thursday as a secret agent for the Israeli Defense Forces took the stand.

The agent, referred to only by the pseudonym Major Lior, testified through a translator about a cache of documents, videos and posters that his team of commandos seized during raids on several charity committees in the Palestinian territories between 2002 and 2004.

Prosecutors say these zakat, or charity, committees are controlled by Hamas and contend that Holy Land's support of them amounts to illegal support of terrorists.

No one was allowed to see the agent's face except the judge, the jurors, the attorneys, the five defendants who helped organize Holy Land, and their immediate family members, who were allowed to remain in the courtroom. Everyone else went to an overflow courtroom with an audio-only feed.

Jurors were not shown the evidence, and the agent's testimony was mostly limited to confirming the legitimacy of documents and tapes that the Israelis seized during the raids. He wasn't questioned on their contents.