Holy Land Foundation convictions upheld
The most famous terrorist financing trial in history resulted in the conviction of 5 organizers of the "charity" the Holy Land Foundation.They were convicted of funneling money to Hamas for the purposes of carrying out terrorist attacks.
Yesterday, those convictions were upheld in the 5th circuit.
The first trial in 2007 ended in a hung jury, but the retrial the next year resulted in across-the-board convictions on charges of material support of terrorism.
Ghassan Elashi, of Richardson, a Holy Land Foundation founder, received 65 years for support of Hamas, money laundering and tax fraud. Shukri Abu Baker, of Garland, who was Holy Land's CEO, received 65 years for support of Hamas, money laundering and tax fraud. Mufid Abdulqader, of Richardson, was a top volunteer fundraiser and sang about Hamas in a Palestinian band that played at fundraising rallies, received 20 years for conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization; conspiracy to provide funds, goods and services to a specially designated terrorist; and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Abdulrahman Odeh, who started Holy Land's office in New Jersey, received 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization; conspiracy to provide funds, goods and services to a specially designated terrorist; and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Mohammad El-Mezain, an imam who ran Holy Land's office in California, received 15 years in prison for providing support to Hamas.
The judge was clear in his ruling:
"While no trial is perfect, this one included, we conclude from our review of the record, briefs, and oral argument, that the defendants were fairly convicted. For the reasons explained below, therefore, we affirm the district court's judgments of conviction of the individual defendants. We dismiss the appeal of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development."
Note: This is the same trial that the Council on American-Islamic Relations - CAIR - was named an unindicted co-conspirator.