Muslim Charity Convicted in Terror Trial

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CBNNews.com -  Jurors in Dallas have convicted five former leaders of the nation's largest Muslim charity of all 108 charges of financing the terrorist group Hamas.

The verdict was delivered after eight days of deliberations in the retrial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. It was the largest terrorism financing trial since the Sept. 11 attacks.

U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis announced the guilty verdicts, Monday, as relatives of the convicted sobbed. One woman shouted out, "My dad is not a criminal!"

Click play for comments from CBN News Terror Analyst Erick Stakelbeck.

Holy Land was accused of giving more than $12 million to support the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. The group was designated by the government as a terrorist organization in 1995.

Major Victory

'This is a major victory for the U.S. government after a recent series of frustrating legal setbacks in the War on Terror," CBN News Terror Analyst Erick Stakelbeck said. "The Holy Land Foundation case has been a watershed moment for the government in exposing ties between self-professed 'moderate' Muslim groups in the U.S. and the radical Muslim Brotherhood movement, which seeks to establish Islamic sharia law worldwide."

"Prosecutors were able to show how supposedly mainstream Islamic groups were essentially fronts for the Brotherhood and support networks for Hamas,' he added.

The Texas-based charity was accused of financing schools, hospitals. and social welfare programs controlled by Hamas.

Prosecutors argued that those agencies served as terrorist recruiting pools used to spread Hamas' violent ideology and generat loyalty and support among Palestinians.

Last year, despite evidence showing the defendants had funded the terrorist group -- the case ended in a mistrial. This year, prosecutors simplified their trial by dropping nearly 60 charges, and offering a "road map" that helped chart the flow of money. 

Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press

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