U.S. media is reporting that a federal court has upheld a $156 million judgement against three U.S. Islamic groups, all part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, that were accused of financing Hamas terrorism in the death of an American teenager in Israel. According to an Associated Press report:
A federal appeals court upheld a $156 million judgment Wednesday against three U.S.-based Islamic groups accused of bankrolling terrorism in a landmark civil case.The U.S. charities must be held liable if they gave money to groups that engage in terrorist acts, even if they designated the funds were for humanitarian purposes, the decision by the 10 judges on the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said. The suit was filed in 2000 by the parents of American-born David Boim, who was a 17-year-old yeshiva student when he was killed by Hamas terrorists in a 1996 drive-by shooting at a bus stop on Israel’s West Bank. The Boims’ lawsuit claimed the groups that gave to Palestinian charities ultimately helped fund terrorism. “This is the most significant judicial opinion on liability for terrorist financing ever decided by a United States court,” said Chicago attorney Stephen Landes, who represented Boim’s parents. The decision upheld a lower-court judgment against the American Muslim Society, the Islamic Association for Palestine-National and the Quranic Literacy Institute. The appeals court also sent civil allegations against a fourth charity — the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development — back to U.S. District Court for a decision on whether it should have to pay part of the $156 million. The appeals court said a decision in a separate case in Washington that Holy Land Foundation supplied aid to terrorists was improperly applied in this case.
The court dropped Muhammad Salah as a defendant on the basis that he had been a prisoner in an Israeli jail when the anti-terrorism law was passed, so he could not have violated it. As a previous post reported , a lower court of appeals had overturned the guilty verdicts in December 2007.
As previous posts have discussed, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and the American Muslim Society were part of the Palestine Committee of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, essentially representing the Hamas infrastructure in the U.S. that also includes the Council on American Islamic Relations. Investigative research has also determined that the Quranic Literacy Institute (QLI) had extensive ties with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), another part of the U.S. Brotherhood. These ties included:
- Past ISNA President Ahmad Zaki Hammad was one of the QLI founders and the organization’s president. In September 1998, a Chicago newspaper reported that Dr. Hammad was also on the board of the ISNA affiliated North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). Court records indicate that Dr. Hammad made checks out to Mohammad Salah from his personal account.
- Bassam Osman, the head of the NAIT, was previously the director of the QLI.
- The QLI secretary Amer Haleem was at one time an acting ISNA Secretary General.
- ISNA leader and board member Jamal Badawi was reported to be an advisor to the Quran Project, associated with QLI.
- Ibrahim Abusharif is a former editor of Islamic Horizons magazine, published by the ISNA. From 1990 to 1998, he was an editor and board member of the QLI.
- ISNA acknowledged making a donation to QLI.