[Guest post by DRJ]
The Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial in Dallas began in August 2007 and ended in a mistrial in late November 2007. We blogged about it in several posts summarized here. At the time, Investors Business Daily argued a new judge and streamlined prosecution could end in a conviction.
IBD was right. A Dallas jury today convicted the Muslim charity and five of its former leaders on 108 charges:
“Holy Land was accused of giving more than $12 million to support the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which the U.S. designated as a terrorist organization in 1995. The seven-week retrial ran about as long as the original, which ended in October 2007 when a judge declared a mistrial on most charges.
Holy Land wasn’t accused of violence. Rather, the government said the Richardson, Texas-based charity financed schools, hospitals and social welfare programs controlled by Hamas in areas ravaged by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The U.S. designated Hamas a terrorist organization in 1995 and again in 1997, making contributions to the group illegal.
Prosecutors labeled Holy Land’s benefactors — called zakat committees — as terrorist recruiting pools. The charities, the government argued, spread Hamas’ violent ideology and generated loyalty and support among Palestinians.
“A womb to the tomb” cycle, prosecutor Barry Jonas told jurors during closing arguments last week.”
The prosecutors had a difficult job with complicated facts that could easily bore or confuse a jury. The report indicates the prosecution tightened its narrative and gave the jury a road map to help them navigate the case. That seems to have made a difference.
I guess it also helps to have a good catch phrase in a complex case. “Womb to the tomb” may not be as good as “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” but it’s close.
UPDATE: Thoughts on the importance of this conviction here.