U.S. Hamas Operative Sues Treasury Department Over Terrorist Designation


The Investigative Project is reporting that attorneys for Hamas operative Muhammad Salah have filed a lawsuit on his behalf claiming that his designation as a terrorist has interfered with finding employment and the conduct of everyday life. According to the report

 IPT News  •  Sep 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm Attorneys for a Chicago man believed to be the only American citizen designated as terrorist sued the U.S. Treasury Department this week, saying he’s been virtually unable to hold a job or engage in everyday transactions as a result. Muhammad Salah was designated a terrorist in August 1995, months after an executive order by President Bill Clinton named Hamas a terrorist group and prohibited transactions with the group. Salah was in an Israeli prison at the time after pleading guilty to a Hamas support charge. He returned to Illinois after his release in 1997, but with limited exceptions has been unable to open a bank account, buy groceries or gifts for his family because of the Clinton order’s ban on transactions with a designated terrorist, the lawsuit said. ‘There is no endpoint to the designation and its restrictions,’ the lawsuit said. It argues the designation was never court-tested, violating Salah’s due process rights and essentially punishing him without a trial. He is joined in the suit by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the American Friends Services Committee, a Quaker organization. 

Read the rest here.

A post from October 2009 reported that Abdelhaleem Ashqar, part of he Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas support network in the U.S and a co-defendant with Salah, lost his appeal of his 11-year prison sentence for refusing to testify before a U.S. grand jury in 2003 that was investigating Hamas. A post from November 2007 discussed the background to the conviction of Dr. Ashqar:

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. (Salah was later sentenced to 22 months in prison after being convicted of lying in a civil suit concerning Hamas support.) 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.

Appellate court ruling can be found here.

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