Hamas supporters in Texas get long sentences

BBC:

Two founder members of what was once the biggest Muslim charity in the US have each been jailed for 65 years.

Shukri Abu Baker, 50, and Ghassan Elashi, 55, were convicted of channelling funds to the Palestinian militant group, Hamas.

Three other members of the Holy Land Foundation were jailed for between 15 and 20 years by a Dallas court.

The charity was found guilty last year of sending $12m (£7.4m) to fund social programmes controlled by Hamas.

The five men were convicted in November on charges ranging from money laundering to supporting terrorism.

Hamas was designated a terrorist organisation by the US government 14 years ago, making it illegal to give the group money or other support.

...

Shukri Abu Baker told the judge in Dallas on Wednesday: "I did it because I cared, not at the behest of Hamas."

But prosecutors argued that the humanitarian aid sent by the charity allowed Hamas to divert money to militant activities.

...

The Islamic charities have been running this type of scam for some time. Hezballah also raises money for "charitable" endeavors which frees up other money for terrorism. The sentences are pretty stiff. Sometimes when people do not think they have done something wrong, it takes something like this to get them to rethink and also to deter others.

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