Court Sentences Former Professor To 11 Years For Refusal To Testify In Hamas Financing Investigation


U.S. media has reported that a former professor accused of being part of a Hamas support network was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison Wednesday for refusing to testify before a U.S. grand jury in 2003 that was investigating Hamas. Abdelhaleem Ashqar, 49, a former associate professor of business at Washington’s Howard University, was convicted earlier this year on criminal contempt and obstruction of justice charges for his refusal to testify but he and codefendant Muhammad Salah were acquitted of participating in a racketeering conspiracy aimed at financing Hamas. Public records indicate that in 1993, Ashqar was the Registered Agent for the Al-Aqsa Educational Fund in Mississippi which, according to various FBI documents, was the original collection point for Hamas fund-raising in the U.S before it was replaced by the Holy Land Foundation in 1994. Documents released as part of the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial indicate the the Hamas fund-raising and support network in the U.S. was an integral part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

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