Second Holy Land Terrorism Financing Trial Opens Today


U.S. media is widely reporting on the opening of the second trial involving the Holy Land Foundation, a charity tied to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, on charges of helping to finance Hamas. According to a report by the Washington Post:

The government’s largest terrorism financing case returned to a courtroom in Dallas this week as prosecutors once again try to secure criminal convictions against five men for allegedly raising more than $12 million in what investigators call “blood money” to support overseas suicide bombings.The case against former leaders of the Holy Land Foundation, a Texas charity that authorities shuttered seven years ago because of its alleged links to the militant Palestinian group Hamas, comes nearly a year after a previous trial ended in disappointment for the government. Jurors acquitted one man outright on 31 charges and deadlocked on charges against the others. Senior U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish declared a mistrial in October 2007. The turbulent jury deliberations ignited debate about the strength of the government’s evidence and its pursuit of financiers who back terrorist groups. In the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, authorities increasingly have accused suspects of providing “material support” to hostile groups, but the Justice Department’s trial record in such cases has been mixed.Federal prosecutors last month moved to streamline the case, dismissing 29 charges apiece against two key defendants and training their fire on counts of conspiracy to fund terrorism and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Opening arguments begin tomorrow. Formerly the largest Muslim charitable organization in the United States, the Holy Land Foundation “masqueraded as a charity” but really served to fund Hamas, according to officials from the Treasury and Justice departments.

A post from last December discussed an analysis by an ex-FBI analyst concerning the outcome of the first trial. Another post has discussed a court filing by U.S. prosecutors discussing the background of the Holy Land Foundation in the Palestine Committee of the U.S Muslim Brotherhood.

A guide to the defendants in the case can be found here.

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