Last Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from the Holy Land Five: five former officials of what was once the largest Islamic charity in the United States, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), who were convicted of funneling millions in charitable donations to the jihad terror group Hamas. That effectively ends the story of the Holy Land Foundation, but since many of its co-conspirators are still active, notably the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the case is worth revisiting.
In 2008, the U.S. government filed a memorandum in opposition to the request from two of the groups linked to the HLF, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), that the "unindicted co-conspirator" designation they received during the HLF trial be removed (it wasn't). The memorandum is a useful and illuminating summary of what some of the most prominent Islamic groups in the U.S. have been involved with.
It noted that some of HLF's top officials, including Shukri Abu Baker, its secretary and chief executive officer; Mohammed El-Mezain, its director of endowments; and Ghassan Elashi, its chairman of the board, were charged with "providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization," as well as with "engaging in prohibited financial transactions with a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, money laundering, filing false tax returns, and several conspiracy charges, including: conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization...conspiracy to provide funds, goods and services to Specially Designated Global Terrorist ... and conspiracy to commit money laundering[.]"
And the HLF officials "were not acting alone." Rather, they were "operating in concert with a host of individuals and organizations dedicated to sustaining and furthering the Hamas movement. ... The object of the conspiracy was to support Hamas. The support will be shown to have take several forms, including raising money, propaganda, proselytizing, recruiting, as well as many other types of actions intended to continue to promote and move forward Hamas's agenda of the destruction of the State of Israel and establishment of an Islamic state in its place."
ISNA and NAIT were among the groups listed as "members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood." During the trial, the government introduced evidence "expressly linking ISNA and NAIT to the HLF and its principals; the Islamic Association for Palestine and its principals; the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States and its Palestine Committee, headed by Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook; and the greater Hamas-affiliated conspiracy described in the Government's case-in-chief." The Islamic Association for Palestine, since shut down as a Hamas front, is CAIR's parent organization.
The evidence introduced at the trial "established that ISNA and NAIT were among those organizations created by the U.S.-Muslim Brotherhood." They were listed as among those organizations dedicated to the Muslim Brotherhood's stated goal, according to a captured internal document made public during the HLF trial, of "eliminating and destroying the Western Civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over other religions."
The government memorandum explains that ISNA and NAIT "shared more with HLF than just a parent organization. They were intimately connected with the HLF and its assigned task of providing financial support to Hamas. Shortly after Hamas was founded in 1987, as an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, Govt. Exh. 21-61, the International Muslim Brotherhood ordered the Muslim Brotherhood chapters throughout the world to create Palestine Committees, whose job it was to support Hamas with 'media, money and men.'" To accomplish this, the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. created the U.S. Palestine Committee, which CAIR later joined. "The mandate of these organizations, per the International Muslim Brotherhood, was to support Hamas, and the HLF's particular role was to raise money to support Hamas'z organizations inside the Palestinian territories."
The memorandum adds that "during the early years of the HLF's operation, HLF raised money and supported Hamas through a bank account it held with ISNA at NAIT" and that "ISNA checks deposited into the ISNA/NAIT account for the HLF were often made payable to 'the Palestinian Mujahadeen,' the original name for the Hamas military wing." That is, the money went to Islamic jihadists dedicated to murdering Israeli civilians.
Despite all this, the Holy Land Five have become the latest darlings of the America-hating left and their Islamic supremacist allies in the U.S. Al-Awda, the "Palestine Right to Return Coalition," held a demonstration on October 25, four days before the Supreme Court ruling, in honor of these jihadists, and called them "victims to the ever-growing over-reach of counter-terrorism programs."
And Cyrus McGoldrick of Hamas-CAIR's New York chapter tweeted the same day: "Prayers for the Holy Land 5 today. Charity is not a crime."
No, it isn't. But supporting savage jihad terrorists who glory in the murders of innocent civilians is. Now that the Holy Land Foundation case is settled, the Justice Department should finish the job and shut down Hamas-CAIR, ISNA, and the rest. But we will probably have to wait for a new occupant in the White House for that.