The Holy Land Verdict: A Setback for the Stealth Jihad [Excerpts]
A federal jury in Dallas on [November 24, 2008] dealt the Stealth Jihad initiative in the United States a crushing defeat: it found five former officials of an Islamic charity, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), guilty of funneling at least $12 million of the charity’s funds to the jihad terror group Hamas. The notorious “Muslim civil rights” group, the Council on American Islamic Relations, is involved as well, since Ghassan Elashi, a founding director of CAIR as well as founder of the group’s Texas chapter, was among those found guilty; Elashi and his co-defendants face prison sentences of up to twenty years for providing support to terrorists.
HLF was once the largest Islamic charity in the United States. According to the Investigative Project, “prosecutors say HLF was part of a Palestine Committee – a conglomerate of U.S. based Muslim organizations and individuals committed to helping Hamas financially and politically. HLF was its fundraising arm, a designation formalized by Hamas deputy political director Mousa Abu Marzook in 1994.” After September 11, CAIR carried a link to HLF on its website, under the heading, “Donate to the NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund.” It seems likely that some people gave money to this thinking they were helping the injured and bereaved in New York and Washington, when they were actually giving money to Hamas. This weblink earned CAIR the designation of “unindicted co-conspirator” in the HLF case – which designation the group has tried unsuccessfully to have the Justice Department remove.
Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted the blind Islamic cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, told The Investigative Project: “This is one of the most significant victories the Justice Department has won in the war on terror. Financing is the life-blood of jihadist organizations like Hamas. With the assistance of willing co-conspirators, they conceal their activities and use the Muslim obligation of charitable giving to mask support that is actually channeled to their murderous agenda. Today’s verdicts say, loudly and clearly, that Americans aren’t fooled and won’t tolerate it. As a former federal prosecutor, I am especially proud of the assistant U.S. attorneys who persevered through some real travails in securing justice for the American people.”
Another unsavory link between the HLF and the global jihad came to light during the first trial of the charity, which ended in a mistrial last year. Found among the HLF’s documents was the Muslim Brotherhood memorandum about its “grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within” first came to light. It seems clear now that the HLF itself was one of the chief engines of this stealthy effort, enjoying a sterling reputation as a charitable organization while actually acting as a virtual fundraising engine for Hamas.