The Dallas Morning News reports that the jury has reached a verdict in the Holy Land Foundation trial after 19 days of deliberation. The verdict was sealed and will not be read in court until the presiding Judge Joe Fish returns to town on Monday. The story on the jury’s return dwells on the length of time that the jury was out. At least one juror was replaced during deliberations (on September 26). A week later Judge Fish read the jury an Allen charge, urging the jurors to continue their deliberations when they asked for advice regarding the refusal of one juror to participate.
In addition to charges against the one organizational defendant, the jury also had to resolve additional charges aginst five individual defendants. The indictment included 42 charges against the six defendants; the case required the submission of a raft of complex evidence. All things considered, it is not necessarily surprising that the jury took so long in its deliberations.
Regardless of the verdict reached by the jury, this was an extraordinarily important terrorism case. The evidence demonstrated the government’s long-standing awareness of the Muslim Brotherhood and its various terrorist fronts. The Holy Land Foundation was the Muslim Brotherhood’s most significant fundraising arm for Hamas. The Bush administration only shut it down in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Among HLF’s unindicted co-conspirators in this case is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). I took up that element of the case in “Coming clean about CAIR.” It is worth noting that at least one part of the government understands precisely what CAIR is.
Muslim “charities” raise a problematic issue of continuing concern. Yesterday the Palestinian Authority announced that it was undertaking to dismantle all Islamic charitable organizations in the West Bank. Why? According to the Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh: “PA officials said Hamas has been using the zakah committees as a means of transferring funds to its supporters in the West Bank.”
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