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Anti-Terrorism Judgment Overturned in Chicago

Posted: January 4, 2008

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overturned a landmark judgment against four Islamic charities and an alleged fundraiser for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas for its role in the murder of a 17-year old American citizen in the West Bank.

The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), the Islamic Association for Palestine, the American Muslim Society, the Quranic Literacy Institute and Muhammad Salah were found liable under a U.S. anti-terrorism law that permits U.S. nationals who have been injured "by reason of an act of international terrorism" to recover triple damages.  The trial court ordered the defendants to pay $156 million in damages to the parents of David Boim, who was murdered at a bus stop in Beit-El, on the West Bank, in March 1996, by a gunman who was apparently connected to Hamas. 

On December 28, 2007, the Court of Appeals overturned the lower court's ruling, saying that the Boim's needed to show a clearer connection between the money and the death of Boim.  The case was remanded for trial for "evidence that the conduct of each defendant, be it direct involvement with or support of Hamas's terrorist activities or indirect support of Hamas or its affiliates, helped bring about the terrorist attack that ended David Boim's life."

Muhammad Salah was sentenced to 21 months in prison in July 2007, for obstruction of justice by lying about his ties to Hamas in the case.  In February 2007, at the same time that he was convicted of obstruction charges, Salah was acquitted of racketeering conspiracy in support of Hamas's terrorist campaigns in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.


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