WASHINGTON (Sep. 7)
The B’nai B’rith said today that “justice has been done” following the sentencing yesterday of 12 Hanafi Moslems to prison terms of from 24 years to life for their seizure last March of three Washington buildings and 140 hostages.
B’nai B’rith Public Relations Director Hank Siegel, who himself was a victim of the terrorism at the Jewish service organization’s headquarters here, said B’nai B’rith is “gratified the American court system functions so well in accordance with our laws. Through the jury’s decision and Judge Nunzio’s sentences, justice has been done in this case.”
Judge Nicholas Nunzio of the District of Columbia Superior Court, gave the heaviest sentence to Abdul Muzikir, who was convicted of shooting several persons and killing Maurice Williams, a Black reporter, at the District Building, Washington’s city hall. He received a total of 77 years to life.
The leader of the Hanafi sect, Hamoas Abdul Khallis, 55, was sentenced to 41-123 years in prison. He will be 90 years old before he is eligible for parole. Khaalis directed the take over at city hall, the B’nai B’rith headquarters and the Islamic center. He personally took charge of the terror raid and the 38-hour seige at the B’nai B’rith building where he conducted the negotiation that finally led to an end to the occupations at the three buildings.
Khaalis accepted his sentence without apparent emotion. His lawyer, Harry Alexander, asked Nunzio to grant Khaalis probation. The lengthy sentences sought by the government, Alexander said, were cruel and inhumane. After sentencing, Khaalis told the judge the terrorist act in reprisal for the murders by a rival group, of members of his family “was a good deed.” Referring to himself as a “fighting Moslem,” he asked for leniency to continue as a Moslem leader. The sentences are expected to be appealed.