Dallas, TX, November 24, 2008 ...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the conviction of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and five of its leaders. The defendants were convicted on 108 counts, which included the material support of the terrorist organization Hamas.
Mark L.Briskman, Director of ADL's North Texas Regional Office, based in Dallas, said:
"The financing of terrorism is a critical problem that should concern all Americans. This conviction sends a strong and welcome signal that the United States will not be permitted to be a safe harbor for those who fund terrorism.
"By funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, this organization and its leaders believed that it could help those who resort to violence to support their cause. All Americans should thank the Justice Department for their aggressive and tenacious pursuit of this group and its leaders. We particularly want to applaud the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their more than decade-long effort in this matter."
The federal jury in Dallas returned guilty verdicts on all 108 counts against the HLF and the five former officers of the charity on November 24, 2008. The federal government proved to the jury that the defendants funneled more than $12 million to Hamas after the U.S. government had designated it a foreign terrorist organization in 1995. The first trial ended in mistrial.
In addition to supporting Hamas, Ghassan Elashi and Shukri Abu-Baker, former HLF chairman and chief executive, were also convicted on charges of tax fraud and money laundering. Other defendants were convicted on additional counts of conspiracy.
ADL has published a number of reports on the Holy Land Foundation, U.S. groups that joined together to support the Holy Land Foundation and on Hamas.