“It is time for you to pledge death”
October 2, 2008
Supporters of the Holyland Foundation rally in Texas
DALLAS – From donations urging violence to advertisements and videos lauding one of the fathers of global jihad, evidence in the Hamas-support trial against former officials at the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) Thursday took a decidedly bloody tone.
The five defendants are accused of illegally funneling $12 million to Hamas through a series of charities, or zakat committees in the West Bank and Gaza. FBI agent Lara Burns has been on the witness stand all week, presenting evidence establishing the group’s stated and passionate support for Hamas.
A mistrial was declared last October after jurors could not reach unanimous verdicts on most counts. Defendant Mohamed El-Mezain was acquitted on all counts against him with the exception of a conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.
This time, added care seems to be taken to identify all the players and define their connections to the case. In addition, some of the exhibits were not entered into evidence last year.
Defense attorneys argue the men merely sought to alleviate suffering by needy Palestinians living under occupation. The images displayed Thursday rarely invoked those needy people, but focused instead on the need to attack.
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