Jihad Watch: CAIR gloats over HLF mistrial, but the celebration may be premature
The HLF verdict ended up as a mistrial because of jurors changing their minds after the initial verdict was made (were they paid off or threatened?). CAIR and those who were placed on trial are celebrating what they see as a victory, but as Jihad Watch observes, the victory celebration might be a little bit premature:
CAIR gloats over HLF mistrial, but the celebration may be premature
Trail Of Terror: The Council on American-Islamic Relations is cheering a mistrial in a major terror case as a “stunning defeat” for the U.S. government. But the celebration may be premature.
Federal prosecutors say they’ll retry the case against leaders of the Holy Land Foundation, the nation’s largest Muslim charity, which they accused of funneling more than $12 million to Hamas terrorists.
CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the case, also cheered a similar outcome in a federal case against Muslim activist Sami al-Arian in Florida. As in the Holy Land case, jurors deadlocked on several terror counts. But prosecutors threatened a retrial and al-Arian later pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
He was defended by the same lawyer defending one of the accused Holy Land leaders, Ghassan Elashi, who happens to also be a founding member of CAIR.
Barring plea bargains, the U.S. will narrow its charges and refile them — hopefully with a new judge. U.S. District Judge Joe Fish barred key evidence helping prosecutors prove willful intent to support terror on the part of defendants.
For example, he threw out a dozen documents seized by the Israeli government in raids of Hamas fronts that would have tied the Dallas-based charity closer to the terror group. Fish also allowed defendants to intimidate jurors.
Not long after the trial opened, after a morning of testimony by government witnesses, a visibly angry Elashi shouted and pointed as jurors exited the courtroom for lunch. The judge scolded him for the outburst — which included a rant about “a Zionist conspiracy” — but decided not to kick him out of the courtroom.
No doubt they’ll streamline their evidence, highlighting the more powerful exhibits, including:
• FBI wiretaps of a meeting in Philadelphia between Holy Land and Hamas big shots in which Holy Land’s director is overheard scheming to disguise payments to Hamas as charity, noting that “war is deception.”
• Testimony from FBI agents that Holy Land flew Hamas clerics to the U.S. to help raise funds at mosques.
• Videos of a Holy Land defendant pretending to kill an Israeli during a Hamas fundraising skit held at one mosque.
• Key chains, videos and posters praising suicide bombers found inside the Hamas front “committees” that Holy Land helped bankroll.
The defendants also kept two sets of records at their Dallas offices — one in English, the other in Arabic — which they destroyed during the FBI’s probe.
Lawyers for the accused expect us to believe that all this suspicious activity was merely an attempt to help needy Palestinians with “vaccinations” and “rice.” Civil juries haven’t fallen for the subterfuge.
The evidence is clear. Now it’s up to the PC-plagued Justice Department to present it to jurors in a way that doesn’t make their eyes glaze over. Retry the case. Only this time, don’t try their patience.