Texas Brothers Convicted for Aiding Hamas
Posted: April 17, 2005
Three brothers from a Dallas suburb were found guilty of supporting terrorism by funneling money to the leader of the radical Palestinian faction Hamas.
Ghassan, Bayan and Basman Elashi were convicted on April 13, 2005, in a federal court in Texas of handling and trying to conceal an investment by senior Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook.
Two of the brothers, Ghassan and Bayan, were convicted of 21 counts, including conspiracy, money laundering and dealing in terrorist property. Basman was convicted of three counts of conspiracy.
Abu Marzook had invested a quarter-million dollars in InfoCom, the Elashi's Richardson-based computer company; the investment yielded Marzook's wife returns of $1,000 to $3,000 per month, which were handled by all three brothers, according to prosecutors. The prosecution was able to prove that the brothers were not just dealing with Marzook's wife, but that they were actually dealing with Abu Marzook, who has been declared a Specially Designated Terrorist by the U.S. government since 1995.
Previously, in July 2004, the Elashis were convicted on various charges also related to InfoCom, including money laundering and illegally exporting technology goods to Syria and Libya, countries on the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Ghassan Elashi is also the former chairman of the Holy Land Foundation, a charity organization which was shut down in 2001 after being accused of funding Hamas. Elashi, along with six other men, currently faces charges in connection with the case.