Muslim charity guilty of funding Hamas, jury rules

Other News Materials 25 November 2008 07:28 (UTC +04:00)

A federal jury ruled Monday that the Holy Land Foundation charity and five employees are guilty of channeling at least 12 million dollars to the Palestinian militant group Hamas, the US attorney who prosecuted the case said, dpa reported.

The verdicts in a federal courtroom in Dallas, were a major victory for the government in prosecuting the financing of terrorism inside the United States. All five men insisted they were innocent during the trial that began in September.

The Holy Land Foundation gave about 12.4 million dollars in support to Hamas and the government argued the group intentionally hid the connection.

All five men were convicted on conspiracy charges, including conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a terrorist organization. Several of the defendants were also convicted on tax charges and of providing support to a foreign terrorist group.

Today's verdicts are important milestones in America's efforts against financiers of terrorism. For many years, the Holy Land Foundation used the guise of charity to raise and funnel millions of dollars to the infrastructure of the Hamas terror organization," Patrick Rowan, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement. "This prosecution demonstrates our resolve to ensure that humanitarian relief efforts are not used as a mechanism to disguise and enable support for terrorist groups."

The Holy Land Foundation was formed in the 1980s and shut down by the US government in December 2001. At that time, it was the largest US Muslim charity. The US State Department listed Hamas as a terrorist organization in 1995.