Exposing evil

Steven Emerson:

THE trial of four key figures with the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development ended last week with a hung jury. Holy Land's defenders and allies are trumpeting the mistrial as a huge victory. Yet the defendants remain in legal jeopardy, with a new trial almost assured - and the prosecution has, at a minimum, closed a lucrative funding channel for the Palestinian terror group Hamas.

Prosecutors in the Northern District of Texas deserve praise for bringing this case in the first place. The trial record conclusively demonstrated that Holy Land and several of its unindicted co-conspirators - including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - grew out of Hamas. Moreover, it showed that they spent the better part of 15 years deceiving government agencies and the media, hiding their true goals under a mask of work for charity and civil rights.


Moreover, the trial uncovered numerous ugly secrets of Holy Land and its leaders. For starters, it exposed as lies their oft-made claims to not be supporting Hamas. The evidence clearly linked Holy Land and CAIR to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the hard-line Egyptian Islamist umbrella group and godfather of every Sunni terrorist group from Hamas to al Qaeda.


But the trial's biggest revelations was the full transcript of a secret 1993 meeting in Philadelphia of "The Palestine Committee" - a group of Hamas members and supporters.

Baker and co-defendant Ghassan Elashi (who's already been sentenced in a different trial to six-plus years for, in part, laundering money for Hamas) participated. At no time during it did either man reject Hamas' ideology or call for it to temper its violence.

Overall, the transcript shows that Holy Land was an active player in a larger Muslim Brotherhood network aimed at organizing support in America for Hamas.

Also at the meeting were two men who would later be founders of CAIR - Omar Ahmad, the group's first chairman, and Nihad Awad, who is now its executive director.


The transcripts (from an FBI recording) make it clear that all present opposed any peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, in fact, wanted a Palestinian state on the '48 borders, Palestinian code for the destruction of Israel:

Omar Ahmad: We've always demanded the 1948 territories. I mean, we demanded . . .

Unidentified speaker: Yes, but we don't say that publicly. You cannot say it publicly. In front of the Americans . . .

Ahmad: No, we didn't say that to the Americans.


I thought there plan for taking over the world for Islam was pretty extreme. The prosecution needs to streamline its case and focus on the inarguable. It needs to be able to present its case in a week or less. If it does that, then the defense is put to the task of making things look complicated. If they do that, itg will play into the prosecutions hands.


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