Texas charity on trial for funding Hamas


Federal prosecution has begun against a Texas Islamic charity accused of funneling money to Palestinian militants.

Prosecution began Tuesday against the Holy Land Foundation, based in Richardson, Tex. north of Dallas, formerly the largest Islamic charity in the United States, the Washington Post reported. The foundation was shut down by President Bush after Sept. 11, who accused it of sending $12 million in aid to Hamas through Middle East charities.

Evidence for the trial spans 14 years of investigation and includes phone records in which members described Hamas suicide attacks as “beautiful operations,” Israeli intelligence reports and closed-door testimony of two Israeli agents. Mohamed Shorbagi, an imam from Georgia, will testify that he passed money to Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation, for which he was convicted.

The case could set a precedent for combating the funding of terrorism from the United States.

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