IPT: An HLF Trial Overview
The Investigative Project sums up the government’s case against the Holy Land Foundation: HLF Case Heavy on Detail.
It is one line among thousands of pages of evidence in a Dallas courtroom, but it summarizes the government’s terror-support case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) and five former leaders.
“Caution should be practiced not to reveal true identity.”
It comes from an internal security manual found at Infocom, a computer business run by defendant Ghassan Elashi. Prosecutors say Elashi and his HLF colleagues deliberately funneled money to HAMAS, a designated foreign terrorist organization, consistent with the objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. And, prosecutors claim, they did everything they could to keep that a secret.
Defendant Shukri Abu Baker, HLF’s former chief executive, put it another way during a secret 1993 meeting of HAMAS members and sympathizers in Philadelphia: “War is deception.”
Defense attorneys say the men and their non-profit organization merely sought to relieve the suffering of Palestinians living under occupation. They will present witnesses and evidence on that claim starting Tuesday after the prosecution rested its case Thursday.
Baker, Elashi, Mohammad El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader and Abdulraham Odeh are charged in a 42-count indictment with conspiracy and providing material support to HAMAS. The indictment includes 11 counts of providing material support through payments to zakat – or charity – committees that prosecutors say are HAMAS controlled, and 12 counts of dealing in the property of a specially designated terrorist.
To win convictions, jurors must be convinced the defendants knew the money would benefit the terrorist group. The case file contains numerous exhibits showing the defendants knew what HAMAS stands for and that they privately supported its bloody actions.