Jury still out in Holy Land terror-financing trial - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Jury still out in Holy Land terror-financing trial

Jurors will begin an eighth day of deliberations Monday in the retrial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, once the nation's largest Muslim charity and a banner government target of alleged terrorism fund-raising on American soil.

Holy Land is accused of giving more than $12 million to support the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which the US. designated as a terrorist organization in 1995 and made supporting the group illegal.

By any measure, the Holy Land case has been a long one. Two high-profile trials lasted months after 15 years of federal investigation. It's been seven years since the daughter of Holy Land chief executive Shukri Abu-Baker remembers FBI agents storming inside like "something out of a movie" after President Bush froze the foundation's assets.

Prosecutors say Holy Land didn't buy bombs or commit violence, but instead raised money to build Hamas-controlled schools and hospitals to win the hearts of Palestinians, spread Hamas ideology and recruit members. Abu-Baker and Elashi, who stuffed envelopes at Holy Land's headquarters as teenagers, say the charities only helped provide for the needy.

Attorneys for both sides are under a long-standing gag order not to discuss the trial, which is the nation's largest terrorism-financing case since the 9/11 attacks.

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