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September 4 , 2007
Most Important Terrorism Funding
Trial in U.S. history

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Cloaked in Deception
'Charity' Fund Raisers for Hamas

The Holy Land Foundation case is critical for the U.S.
as it also is for Israel. Depending on the verdict,
the U.S. will either roll out the red carpet
and throw down the 'welcome mat' to any
and all terror fund raisers who wish to operate
in the United States, or we will finally close up
a breach in the judicial wall of our nation's security.

Daily Trial Update Sources
Daily trial coverage, analysis and exhaustive documentation includes audio and video clips at site of Counterterrorism Expert Steven Emerson Investigative Project on Terrorism

Daily trial coverage and other terror related articles at Dr. Walid Phares’ site CounterTerrorismBlog

Selected Government Exhibits & Documents from U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation
The Nine/Eleven Finding Answers Foundation

"War is Deception"
and other notable quotes

by Donna Diorio

My personal journey following this story began on February 17, 1993 when there was a tiny article in the New York Times "Israel links terrorists, U.S. agents" in which an anonymous "senior [Clinton] administration official said that the FBI was looking into groups Israel had linked to Hamas." 

Two weeks prior, the article reported, "U.S. officials said they believed that support for Hamas WAS LIMITED TO FUND RAISING. But an official said Tuesday that such a conclusion might be premature." [my emphasis added.]

The information had come out of the arrest in Israel of Mohammed Salah, an Arab-American who served time in Israel after being busted as a money runner between the Hamas fund raisers in the U.S. and the Hamas in the territories.  Under Israeli arrest between 1993-1197, Salah described the Hamas funding infrastructure that also included handlers operating out of London. 

"CHICAGO AND WASHINGTON, D.C., AREA MEN AMONG THREE INDICTED IN RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY IN U.S. TO FINANCE HAMAS TERROR ABROAD Fugitive Hamas Official In Syria Among Those Charged"  Department of Justice press release of August 20, 2004

Many in the United States government, it seems however, preferred to believe the story Salah told after he recanted extensive statements in "thick volumes of records filed by Israel in the case."  
Paper trail leads to Hamas Dallas Morning News July 15, 2005

In August of 2004, Salah along with Abdel Haleem al-Ashqar, and Deputy Political Leader of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook, were indicted on Hamas-related racketeering charges.

In July 2007, Salah was sentenced to 21 months in prison on obstruction of justice charges for lying about ties to Hamas, BUT he was acquitted of the terrorism-related charges.

Much in every way.

In the autumn of 1994 the Holy Land Foundation and the Islamic Association for Palestine began to emerge in news reports as connected to the investigation FBI agents were conducting into the Hamas fund raising allegations that came out of Muhammad Salah's confession. 

CBS News reported this in October 1994, and the Dallas Morning News on Nov. 11, 1994 in an article titled Muslims, ex-FBI official clash on documentary.

In 1996, Dallas Morning News Metro reporter Steve McGonigle began to write the occasional report on the Holy Land Foundation in Richardson, Texas.  HLF, Infocom and CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations, an un-indicted co-conspirator in the current HLF trial) went on a public relations offense against the reporting and the newspaper. 

In May 1996 the Israeli government outlawed the Holy Land Foundation in Richardson, Texas saying it supplied financial aid to Hamas and authorized the seizure of HLF assets found in Israel.  The U.S. State Department was still unwilling to place HLF on a list of terrorist organizations at that time according to McGonigle's article on June 21, 1996 Israel bans Richardson foundation.

Infocom, a Richardson computer company with ties to the Holy Land Foundation launched a website called in which they promoted a campaign in the Muslim community against reporter Steve McGonigle and the Dallas Morning News.  Surveillance photos of the reporter appeared on many pages of the site tagged as "Public Enemy #1 Steve McGonigle."  The site also offered advice to the Muslim community about not speaking with the FBI or Dallas Morning News journalists; several were specifically named on the site.

By April 1996 the newspaper was the target of an ongoing protest campaign accusing it of anti-Muslim reporting.  An intense media campaign was waged to make the government and media investigations about bias in public opinion rather than about terrorist ties.  The newspaper was definitely intimidated by the accusations and appears to have reigned in their reporting by the summer before September 11, 2001.  CAIR announced an agreement had been made with the Dallas newspaper on April 3, 2001.

Hard Copies from the now defunct Infocom DallasNOTnews website, and War of Words, Dallas Observer 5/18/2000 by Mark Donald. 

Infocom was raided by the FBI on September 5th, 2001.  The Holy Land Foundation was raided in December 2001. 

The HLF investigation had begun in 1992 according to the 2004 paper of David E. Henifin, Department of State:  The National Defense University National War College asks, What Took So Long?  

Bill Clinton served from 1993 to 2001.  The World Trade Center was attacked on February 26th 1993.  But it was not until decisive action was taken by George Bush in 2001--just days prior to the tragic attack by Islamic extremists on 9/11--that the United States began to clamp down on the terrorist infrastructures in the United States that had been grown uninterrupted under Clinton's watch.

Two presidents and two opposite responses to the United States being attacked by Islamic extremists.  One buries his head in the sand about our nation being riddled by terrorist infrastructure--who takes no action on the intelligence and investigations of the FBI, Departments of Justice, Treasury and State, the CIA, U.S. diplomats in Israel and the Israeli government.  The other President moved decisively. 

The Holy Land Foundation trial is the result of Presidential leadership that does not pretend we are helpless to turn the tide in a war against terrorism and does not ignore--like the mainstream media does--that the enemy is operating undercover among us much like the Mafia did in generations past.  [Please view the U.S. Terror Map on the website, "The Terrorist Network in America, 1991-2007."]

The Holy Land Foundation case is critical. Depending on the verdict, we will either roll out the red carpet and throw down the 'welcome mat' to any and all terror fund raisers who wish to operate in the United States, or we will finally close up a breach in the judicial wall of our nation's security. 

I believe the verdict--and our future--is in the balance and we must rise to the occasion.  An under-informed public is a very dangerous thing and that is exactly what we have in this case. 

When the media does not report, then they are the only ones privileged to decide our future.

More 'Must Reads'

Hamas's Rock Star
By day he was an engineer working for the city of Dallas.
On weekends he entertained at fundraisers for a terrorist group.

by Todd Bensman The Weekly Standard 02/13/2006, Volume 011, Issue 21

JUST DAYS after his party's upset landslide in the Palestinian elections, Hamas's supreme political leader, Khaled Meshal, was thrust into an unfamiliar spotlight, on the front page of the New York Times and in the looping reels of cable news shows. The whole world seems these days to hang on every defiant word Khaled utters from his hideout in Damascus, where he's been ducking Israeli assassins the last several years.

The Terrorist at City Hall
by Todd Bensman D Magazine Jan 2005

One of the defendants in the Holy Land Foundation trial is a half-brother to the real leader of Hamas—Khalid Mishal who currently dictates Hamas from Damascus, Syria. A hair raising report about a man with access to Dallas infrastructure (gas lines, water plants, electrical grids, and maintenance tunnels under the commuter rail system) but also was a top star on the fund raising trail for his musical and theatrical skits glorifying murdering Jews and extolling suicide “martyrs.”

Intelligence Breach Revealed In Dallas Terror Case
By Todd Bensman CBS 11 News Investigative Unit February 14, 2006

The U.S. government’s signature domestic terrorism case – against the North Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development – was delayed by more than five months last year because federal prosecutors “inadvertently” released volumes of highly classified intelligence materials to defense attorneys, newly unsealed records show.

Prosecuting Terrorism Supporters: Lessons from a Recent Verdict
By Matthew Levitt The Washington Institute February 6, 2007

On February 1, after fourteen days of deliberation, a Chicago jury acquitted Muhammad Salah and Abdulhalim Ashqar of charges that they were involved in a racketeering conspiracy by financing and supporting Hamas terrorist activities in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The two were accused of laundering funds, facilitating communications, and providing recruits for Hamas, but were convicted only on minor charges of obstruction of justice and, in Ashqar's case, criminal contempt. Like the 2005 prosecution of Sami al-Arian and several other Palestinian Islamic Jihad supporters in Tampa, Florida (where the jury acquitted the defendants of most charges and deadlocked on others), the case highlights the difficulty of prosecuting individuals for providing support to terrorist groups under the cover of humanitarian or political activity.

Infocom’s Elashi Brothers Sentenced
Hazim Elashi and Ihsan “Sammy” Elashi Operated Infocom Corporation
U.S. Department of Justice Press Release January 25, 2006

United States Attorney Richard B. Roper announced that Hazim Elashi and his brother, Ihsan “Sammy” Elashi, were sentenced today …to 66 months imprisonment and will be deported after his sentence is served. Ihsan Elashi was sentenced to 72 months imprisonment which is to run consecutive to the 48-month sentence he is presently serving.

These two defendants, along with their three brothers, Bayan Elashi, Ghassan Elashi and Basman Elashi, operated a family-run, Richardson, Texas, company that sold computers and Internet services mostly to customers in the Middle East. Following a four week trial, each brother, along with their company, Infocom Corporation, was convicted by a federal jury in July 2004 in Dallas of conspiracy to violate the Export Administration Regulations and the Libyan Sanctions Regulations. Each of the brothers was also found guilty of conspiracy to file false Shipper’s Export Declaration forms. A sentencing date has not yet been set for the other brothers or the corporation.

Not So Holy After All
The Bush administration takes on a Hamas front group.

by Stephen Schwartz The Weekly Standard 12/17/2001, Volume 007, Issue 14

LAST WEEK President Bush made a long-overdue decision. He ordered the closing of the Holy Land Foundation, a front for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, headquartered in Richardson, Texas, with branch offices in Paterson, N.J., Bridgeview, Ill., and San Diego. The Holy War Foundation would be more like it.





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