WASHINGTON (Jul. 13)
Hanafi Moslem leader Khalifa Hamaas Abdul Khallis testified yesterday that he and 11 other members of his sect were acting as “servants of God” who had undertaken a “holy war” against the “Zionist Jews” in seizing hostages at three buildings here last March.
Khallis, on trial here for the takeover of the buildings which included the headquarters of B’nai B’rith where more than 100 persons were held hostage for 39 hours, accused the “Zionist Jews” of plotting the death of his children through “letters used by the Black Muslims.” He said Elijah Muhammed, the late leader of the Black Muslims, was a “Zionist Jew.” Asked whether he was aware of the illegal nature of his actions, Khallis replied: “My faith and my country come first. What the Zionists are doing exceeds anything that was done. It had to be done.”
In addition to holding the hostages at the B’nai B’rith building at gunpoint, the terrorists also verbally and physically abused their victims, wreaked havoc in the offices and left the place in a shambles with damage estimated minimally at $250,000. The gunmen also seized the Islamic Center and the District Building (City Hall) where another 27 hostages were held. During their rampage the Hanafis fatally shot Maurice Williams, a 22-year-old reporter for the Howard University radio station when he entered the District Building and surprised one of the terrorists.