Diary

Finally, one for the good guys!

From The Investigative Project on Terrorism comes this tidbit of good news…

DALLAS – A jury convicted five former officials at the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) on all counts in the Hamas-support case after 8 days of deliberations.The men, Shukri Abu-Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohamed El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader and Abdelrahman Odeh, could face up to 20 years in prison for their convictions on conspiracy counts, including conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The verdicts, read Monday afternoon, ended a two-year saga in what is considered the largest terror financing case since the 9/11 attacks.In the original trial last year, jurors acquitted El-Mezain on 31 of the 32 counts against him, but could not reach unanimous verdicts on any other counts, prompting a mistrial.

The first time out, the prosecutors charged them with everything under the sun and the case was very convoluted and complicated. Hence, a hung jury. Apparently, in Texas at least, even lawyers are capable of learning a lesson…

Prosecutors made a series of significant adjustments, from dropping 29 counts each against defendants Mufid Abdulqader and Abdelrahman Odeh, to adding new witnesses who could put the charity support in context. In addition, jurors in this trial saw three exhibits Israeli military officials seized from the Palestinian Authority which showed the PA also considered HLF to be a Hamas financer and that an HLF-supported charity committee was controlled by Hamas.The result was a much more streamlined case that followed a logical narrative, said Peter Margulies, a law professor at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Seeing the Palestinian Authority reach the same conclusion as the U.S. government had to have helped, he said.In addition, prosecutors provided summary exhibits that served as “a road map” to the case and had to help jurors deliberate, Margulies said. “The jury was able to look at the evidence and get past the perceived biases of any of the witnesses and see the evidence as a whole.”That evidence made clear that the defendants knew where the money raised in the U.S. was going despite legal prohibitions against support for Hamas.

There was also this interesting note, focusing on CAIR.

CAIR is listed as a member of [T]he [Muslim] Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad are included on a telephone list of committee members. CAIR has not refuted the evidence, Farah said. Government officials ought to study that evidence to realize CAIR is not what it presents itself as.”The main currency CAIR and these groups have is their access,” he said. “The time is now, with full justification and with a full public record – not a whispering campaign, not innuendo – for the government to now say without hesitation: you don’t have access here. We don’t want to deal with you.”

And, in closing, I have to tip my hat to a fellow Phoenician, M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy a Phoenix based moderate Muslim organization that is the model for Islamic organization in the US.

The verdict was hailed by M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Prosecutors prevailed because they were able to “connect the ideology of political Islam and the overriding mission of Islamist organizations like the HLF to their desire to contribute to the efforts of terror groups, like Hamas,” he said. “When this connection is made we will see the return of a guilty verdict. In future [terrorism financing] cases DOJ will not only have to connect the financial dots but [will have] to demonstrate an overarching common Islamist mission.”

Hopefully, although given the recent election I doubt it, the Feds will start digging into CAIR. There is every reason to believe they are not what they would have us believe they are. I really hope the Federal Prosecutors will run with ball now that they finally have a victory in this case.