The most important terrorism trial of recent times has ended in a conviction:
A jury on Monday determined that the Holy Land Foundation and five men who worked with the Muslim charity were guilty of three dozen counts related to the illegal funneling of at least $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
The unanimous verdicts are a complete victory for the government, which streamlined its case and worked hard to carefully educate jurors on the complex, massive evidence presented in the trial. Guilty verdicts were read on 108 separate charges.
Opening statements at the Earle Cabell Federal Courthouse in downtown Dallas began Sept. 22. Over the past two months, prosecutors attempted to prove that five former charity organizers used Holy Land, once the largest Muslim charity in the U.S., to funnel an estimated $60 million to the militant group — most of it before 1995.
Hamas was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. in 1995, and the trial centered on the $12 million the government said Holy Land and supporters funneled to the group after that date.
Defense attorneys argued that the foundation was a legitimate, non-political charity that helped distressed Palestinians under Israeli occupation. They accused the government of bending to Israeli pressure to prosecute the charity, and of relying on old evidence predating the 1995 designation.
Holy Land was formed in the late 1980s, and was shut down by U.S. government regulators in December 2001. The case was indicted in 2004.
“I suspect that they will be viewed much the same way that Mandela was viewed by the black South African population — as freedom fighters who have dedicated their lives to the liberation of Palestine,” William Moffitt, the Virginia defense attorney who represented two former university professors, Abdelhaleem Ashqar and Sami Al-Arian, said before the Holy Land verdicts.
If the nature of the defence was that the murderous, theocratic terrorist group, Hamas, is the equivalent of the African National Congress, I am not surprised the jury convicted.
I will have more to say about the significance of the success of this federal prosecution over the next few days. In short, the trial did not simply look at the involvement of the named defendants in the funding of Hamas. It considered the whole apparatus that was constructed around pro-Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood advocacy and activism in North America, and named a number of ‘unindicted co-conspirators’, who each had a role to play in the process.
One of those named was the ersatz civil rights organisation, the Council on American Islamic Relations.
The documents disclosed during the Holy Land Foundation trial demonstrated that Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood has been pursuing a strategy of setting up a series of front groups, with innocuous sounding names – some posing as cultural associations, some as civil liberties outfits – with the aim of fundraising and advocating for their Islamist terrorist politics. You may remember that they described their aim, thus:
The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ’sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood is pursuing precisely the same strategy in this country. Just as in the United States, CAIR has been invited, at its own urging, to partner with the State, the British Muslim Brotherhood front groups have pursued precisely the same strategy.
In Scotland, the Muslim Brotherhood and Scottish Nationalist Party PPC, Osama Saeed’s Scottish Islamic Foundation is hosting a mini-tour:
Date: 26th November 2008 Time: 19:00 – 21:00 Location: Aberdeen, Dundee and Kirkaldy
Two senior members from the Council on American Islamic Relations will be touring Scotland in advance of their appearance at the Scottish Muslim Futures conference.
CAIR are arguably the most advanced Muslim organisation in the West at dealing with public affairs.
Yaser Tabbara is Director of Community Development at CAIR’s Washington DC HQ.
Ahmed Rehab is is the Council on American Islamic Relations-Chicago’s Executive Director and CAIR’s National Strategic Communications Director
I’ll have more to say on the improbably named Ahmed Rehab in a later post, as well.
Incidentally, shouldn’t somebody now revoke their visas, quickly?
It is a sign of how well the “Grand Jihad” is going in Scotland, that the Osama Saeed was invited to participate in the Scottish Nationalist Party’s anti-Trident commission, as a representative of the SIF. It has also received a grant from the SNP Government of £400,000.
The guilty verdicts in this trial, should be the tug that starts the whole sweater unraveling. The BBC has picked up the story.
I wonder how many lessons will be drawn from it.