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HOLY LAND FOUNDATION FOR RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT (HLF) Printer Friendly Page

The Holy War Foundation
By Stephen Schwartz
July 30, 2004

The Holy Land Foundation Trial: Faith, Hate and Charity (Part Two of Two)
By Adrian Morgan
October 2007

The Holy Land Foundation Trial: Faith, Hate and Charity (Part One of Two)
By Adrian Morgan
October 2007

HLF Officials Convicted on All Counts
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
November 24, 2008

Holy Land Foundation Defendants Guilty on All Counts
By Jason Trahan and Tanya Eiserer
November 24, 2008

Holy Land Foundation Hamas Support Convictions Affirmed
By Andrew McCarthy
December 7, 2011

CAIR’s Hamas Co-Conspirator Associates
By Joe Kaufman
February 15, 2010

Judge's Ruling Won't Clear KindHearts
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 8, 2009

The Islamist Lobby In the House
By Jamie Glazov
August 4, 2009

Jail Time for Jihadists
By Robert Spencer
May 29, 2009

Holy Land Foundation Founding Members Moving to Sing Sing
By Claude Cartaginese
May 28, 2009

HLF Founders Sentenced to Long Prison Terms
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
May 27, 2009

Arizona Man Admits Lying about HLF Support
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
May 8, 2009

Senators Praise FBI's CAIR Freeze
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
February 24, 2009

Dual Life of a Pro-Terror Activist
By Joe Kaufman
February 12, 2009

Obama and CAIR
By Brigitte Gabriel
February 6, 2009

Radical Islamic Networks in America
By Jamie Glazov
January 13, 2009

Court Upholds $156 Million Judgment against Hamas Supporters
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
December 3, 2008

CAIR's Make or Break Moment
By Steven Emerson
December 2, 2008

The Muslim Response to the Holy Land Foundation Guilty Verdict
By William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz
November 28, 2008

The Holy Land Verdict: A Setback for the Stealth Jihad
By Robert Spencer
November 26, 2008

Digging Deeper Into the HLF Trial
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
November 25, 2008

Convicted in Dallas
By Phyllis Chesler
November 25, 2008

Victory!!! Holy Land Foundation Defendants Found Guilty of All Charges
By William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz
November 24, 2008

Charity Convicted in Terrorism Financing Trial
By Schuyler Dixon
November 24, 2008

Wrinkle in Holy Land Foundation Defense Case Might Prove Vital in Trial Outcome
By William Mayer
November 16, 2008

HLF Redux: Streamlined, with More Punch
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
November 12, 2008

HLF Case in Jury's Hands
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
November 11, 2008

Purpose of HLF's Charity Debated in Closing Arguments
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
November 10, 2008

Ex-Diplomat Defends Zakat Committees, HLF Defense Rests
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
November 7, 2008

Bookkeeper Defends HLF Accounting
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
November 6, 2008

HLF Defense Expert Offers Alternate Interpretations
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
November 4, 2008

Israeli Official Details Zakat Committee Links to Hamas
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
October 30, 2008

Expert Witness: Social Support a Staple of Terrorist Groups
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
October 23, 2008

HLF Prosecution Offers Jurors a Guide to Evidence
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
October 21, 2008

HLF Judge Admits Palestinian Evidence
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
October 20, 2008

HLF Insider Ties Charity to Hamas
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
October 17, 2008

A Security-Conscious Charity
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
October 14, 2008

HLF's Hamas Fundraisers Don't Add Up
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
October 9, 2008

FBI: CAIR Is a Front Group for Hamas
By Militant Islam Monitor
October 8, 2008

Hamas Leaders Dominate HLF Speakers List
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
October 7, 2008

HLF Defense: Volume, Volume, Volume
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
October 4, 2008

"It Is Time for You to Pledge Death"
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
October 2, 2008

Hamas Deputy Chief Settled U.S. Funding Dispute
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 30, 2008

Holy Land Evidence Establishes Hamas Link
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 29, 2008

Digging In the Dirt
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 24, 2008

HLF Jury Schooled on Hamas Terror
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 23, 2008

HLF Prosecutor: Think Like a Terrorist Organization
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 22, 2008

Hamas Retrial Faces Challenges
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 15, 2008

Holy Land Foundation Prosecutors Move to Streamline Hamas Funding Terror Case
By William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz
September 3, 2008

U.S. Brotherhood's Boomerang Effect
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
July 18, 2008

Co-Conspirators of Hate
By Joe Kaufman
June 30, 2008

ISNA, NAIT Seek to Edit History
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
June 19, 2008

Holy Land Foundation Case Revealed Extent of Muslim Brotherhood Infiltration
By Militant Islam Monitor
December 19, 2007

Summary of Special Panel on Holy Land's Ties to Hamas & Muslim Brotherhood
By Andrew Cochran
December 14, 2007

Holy Land Trial Shows Charity's Hamas Ties
By Steven Emerson
October 29, 2007

Un-Holyland Foundation
By Cal Thomas
October 25, 2007

Unholy Mistrial
By The NRO Editors
October 25, 2007

PA Closes Down Zakat Committees Proving HLF and Others Funded Hamas
By Militant Islam Monitor
October 24, 2007

Holy Land Foundation Mistrial Reveals Problems of Prosecuting Terror Trials by Jury
By Militant Islam Monitor
October 23, 2007

Shari'a-friendly Investments
By Caroline B. Glick
October 23, 2007

Mistrial in Holy Land Prosecution,Government to Retry?
By Militant Islam Monitor
October 22, 2007

Holy Land Foundation Verdict In, Sealed Until Monday
By Militant Islam Monitor
October 19, 2007

Homeland Security Implications of the Holy Land Foundation Trial
By Joseph Myers
September 18, 2007

Muslim Charity Prosecution: CAIR “Affiliated With” Hamas
By Steven Emerson
September 6, 2007

The DoJ: Subsidizing the Enemy
By Deborah Weiss
September 3, 2007

A Trying Time for CAIR
By Robert Spencer
August 28, 2007

Shocking Video from the Holy Land Foundation Trial
By Fox News
August 10, 2007

Muslim Charities: Moderate Non-Profits or Elaborate Deceptions? (pdf)
By Judicial Watch
2007

Trial against U.S. Muslim Charity Begins
By Gretel C. Kovach
July 26, 2006

Terrorist 'Charity' on Trial
By Stephen J. Landes
July 25, 2007

Al-Qaida Angle Emerges in CAIR-Tied Terror Case
By Paul Sperry
June 22, 2007

CAIR Fingered by Feds
By Patrick Poole
June 8, 2007

Government Documents Reveal CAIR Is Hamas - ISNA Also Named as Unindicted Co-Conspirator in Holy Land Terror Funding
By Militant Islam Monitor
June 6, 2007

CAIR and ISNA Named as Part of Criminal Conspiracy in Hamas Funding Case
By Militant Islam Monitor
June 4, 2007

Government's Trial Brief
(an overview of the case and the evidence the government will seek to admit at trial)
May 29, 2007

Helping Hand to Hamas
By Joe Kaufman
May 15, 2007

Fifth Column Imam Flyers
By Joe Kaufman and Gary Gross
April 20, 2007

Attorneys Seek to Dismiss Holy Land Foundation Prosecution
By Militant Islam Monitor
December 13, 2006

Georgia Businessman/Iman with 'Home Mosque' Guilty of Funding Hamas via Holy Land Foundation
By Militant Islam Monitor
November 21, 2006

Hamas's Rock Star
By Todd Bensman
February 13, 2006

The Muslim Brotherhood: What Do They Really Want To Teach American Muslim Youth?
The Counterterrorism Blog
August 10, 2005

To Be Charitable, They're Terrorists
By Andrew McCarthy
July 29, 2004

An Activist’s Guide to Arab and Muslim Campus and Community Organizations in North America
By Stephen Schwartz
May 26, 2003

 


Click here to view a sample Profile.

Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF)'s Visual Map


  • U.S-based Islamic charity shut down by authorities in 2001 for funding the terrorist group Hamas



Established in 1988 (under the name "Occupied Land Fund") by Shukri Abu Baker, Mohammad El-Mezain and Ghassan Elashi, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) was a non-profit, tax-exempt, charitable trust headquartered in Richardson, Texas. It also maintained branch offices in New Jersey, California, and Illinois. Its name change took place in 1992.

Calling itself America's largest Islamic charity, HLF purported to be a source of help for needy Palestinian Muslims in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Authority (PA). "Our mission," stated its website, "is to find and implement practical solutions for human suffering through humanitarian programs that impact the lives of the disadvantaged, disinherited, and displaced peoples suffering from man-made and natural disasters." In reality, however, the Foundation was a major financier of the terrorist organization Hamas.

In its earliest days, HLF received a $200,000 cash infusion from Ghassan Elashi’s brother-in-law Musa Abu Marzook, the Hamas senior political leader and Virginia resident who would be deported in 1997 for his involvement in six terror attacks in Israel that killed 47 people. By 1989, HLF had already sent nearly $1 million to Marzook and Hamas co-founder Ahmed Yassin (to the latter through an account called the Islamic Center of Gaza -- another ostensibly charitable entity used by Yassin to finance Hamas activities).

HLF's precursor, the Occupied Land Fund, was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document -- titled "An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America" -- as one of the Brotherhood’s 29 likeminded "organizations of our friends" that shared the common goal of destroying America and turning it into a Muslim nation. These "friends" were identified by the Brotherhood as groups that could help teach Muslims "that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands ... so that ... God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions."

Also named in the Muslim Brotherhood document were:

Suspicious of its terrorist ties, U.S. federal authorities began monitoring the Holy Land Foundation in 1996. On September 5, 2001, federal anti-terrorism agents raided InfoCom Corporation, the company that ran the HLF website. According to defectors from the conspiracy, the HLF web server was used also by the American Muslims for Jerusalem. the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Association for Palestine, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim Students’ Association of the U.S. and Canada. As Islam scholar Stephen Schwartz writes, “All these organizations drew from the common financial and technical pool at HLF. All shared a single administrative and technical contact for the maintenance of the web server. They had been erected as political shells around the Hamas hydra-head represented by HLF.” (Support for Hamas had become illegal in 1995 as the result of an executive order by President Bill Clinton and subsequent congressional action.)

On December 4, 2001, the Bush administration seized all HLF assets and records because of its Hamas connections. Said President Bush at the time: “Hamas has obtained much of the money that it pays for murder abroad right here in the United States, money originally raised by the Holy Land Foundation. The Holy Land Foundation ... raised $13 million from people in America last year. … Money raised by the Holy Land Foundation is used by Hamas to support schools and indoctrinate children to grow up into suicide bombers. [It] is also used by Hamas to recruit suicide bombers and to support their families.” 

In July 2004, federal authorities arrested five former HLF leaders: Mufid Abdulqader (the half-brother of Hamas's supreme political leader, Khaled Mashal); Shukri Abu Baker (HLF's co-founder and former President and Chief Executive); Ghassan Elashi (HLF's co-founder and former Board Chairman and Treasurer); Mohammed El-Mezain (HLF's co-founder and former Board Chairman); and Abdulraham Odeh (HLF’s former New Jersey representative). In a 42-count indictment, these individuals were charged with providing material support for Hamas terrorists to the tune of $12.4 million over a six-year period, and more than $57 million since the late 1988. Two more ex-officials of HLF, Haitham Maghawri and Akram Mishal, managed to escape U.S. jurisdiction and are considered to be fugitives.

According to the indictment, HLF tried to hide its terrorist-financing activities from American law-enforcement by making a few small contributions to innocuous, non-Palestinian entities while reserving the vast majority of its funds for terrorists. As Shukri Abu Baker told his underlings: “We can give $100,000 to the Islamists and $5,000 to the others.” Another HLF program, masquerading as charitable support for needy families and orphans in Palestinian territories, is said to have channeled money to families whose relatives had been killed or captured while waging jihad; some of them were suicide bombers.

In December 2006, two openly pro-Castro organizations -- the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Humanitarian Law Project -- jointly petitioned a federal judge to dismiss many of the charges brought against HLF.

On July 23, 2007, HLF's leaders went on trial. Seven principal individuals were charged with twelve counts of providing "material support and resources" to a foreign terrorist organization. Additionally, they faced thirteen counts of money laundering and thirteen counts of breaching the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which prohibits transactions that threaten American national security. Along with the seven named defendants, the government released a list of approximately 300 "unindicted co-conspirators" and "joint venturers."

Among the unindicted co-conspirators were groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Hamas, INFOCOM, the Islamic Association for Palestine, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Arab Youth Association, the North American Islamic Trust, and the United Association for Studies and Research. The list also included many individuals affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas. Among these were Mousa Abu Marzook, Omar Ahmad, Abdurahman Alamoudi, Yousef al-Qaradawi, Abdallah Azzam, Jamal Badawi, Mohammad Jaghlit, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, and Ahmed Yassin. Thirty-nine directors, employees and representatives of HLF were also named.

On October 22, 2007, after a two-month trial and nineteen days of jury deliberation, Judge A. Joe Fish declared a mistrial because the jury had been unable to deliver unanimous verdicts and had failed to convict on a single count brought against the defendants.

When the government retried the case a year later, prosecutors made several key adjustments. Most notably, they dropped some counts against particular defendants; they called several new witnesses; and they displayed three exhibits which Israeli military officials had seized from the Palestinian Authority (PA). Those exhibits demonstrated that the PA, like the U.S. government, clearly considered HLF to be a Hamas funder; that an HLF-supported charity committee was fully controlled by Hamas; and that the defendants were well aware that whatever money they were raising in the U.S. was earmarked for Hamas.

On November 24, 2008, the jury convicted five former HLF officials -- Mufid Abdulqader, Shukri Abu-Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohamed El-Mezain, and Abdelrahman Odeh -- of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

 

 

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