In a legal defeat for the Bush administration's domestic war on terror, a federal jury Thursday acquitted two men of being leading members of the Palestinian extremist group Hamas and conspiring to support terrorism from the United States.They did slap them with obstruction of justice, based on a guilty verdict in a related civil suit brought by the parents of a young American murdered in Israel by a suicide bombing. Here's the only juror quoted:
"There was a lot of evidence to go through, a lot of documentary evidence to go through," said juror Max Lapertosa, a lawyer for Access Living, a disabilities advocacy and services organization in Chicago.
"The law was complex. In the end I think we came up with an unanimous verdict that is as fair as we could have possibly rendered."A spokesman for the DC-based Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) had this to say:
That evidence included the confession of Salah, an American citizen, provided in 1993 while in the custody of Israel, as well as bank records showing he had received nearly $1 million from top Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook.
The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement Thursday evening in support of the Salah family.We are to believe Hamas is just a group of oppressed daycare providers sending money around the world. Pix of happy Hamas child.
"We hope that the suffering of the Salah family is over. We also hope that the 'terrorism' label be reserved in the future for those found guilty of that charge in an open and fair trail administered in a respected court of law," the group said.
Here is the video, The Islamic Mein Kampf, which traces the rise of Islamofascist terror, the rise of Hamas. Read Nonie Darwish on her childhood in Egypt, where she was taught all "infidels" of which she is now considered one, are considered "occupiers". Occupiers are to be converted or wiped out.
The State Dept. has designated Hamas as a terrorist organization. This was done in 1997 [correction 1995, see update] by then Sec. of State Madeline Albright under the Clinton administration, hardly one given to aggressive, hot pursuit of terrorists. Is Hamas a terrorist organization? What do you think? And following is an interview with a representative of (CAIR) (You will note the CAIR spokesman almost immediately launches into personal attacks, you might say it's their mode of operation). Video here.
Clearly CAIR won't admit Hamas is a terrorist organization. More on CAIR. Even Sen. Dick Durbin views CAIR with extreme suspicion.
And just as liberals laugh along with the Cartoon Network as just a bad hair day in Boston, Chicago police aren't laughing here. You see, unlike in Boston, the public here never reported any of the devices placed at 35 locations in the city.
And in other Chicago news today, a suspicious package with IED components was found in the Loop, similar to one found the day before in Kansas City. Not to worry, it's probably just a CAIR package.
UPDATE: Washington Post story here.
In the Chicago case, prosecutors faced the additional challenge of trying to punish activities that occurred before Hamas was declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. government in 1995. Salah, a U.S. citizen, was accused of helping funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to militant groups in the West Bank and Gaza. He was captured by the Israelis with $100,000 in cash in 1993 and allegedly confessed to being a military commander in Hamas. Ashqar was alleged to have helped launder money and facilitate communications for Hamas. [snip]One other defendant remains under indictment in the case: Mousa Abu Marzook, Hamas's deputy political bureau chief, who was deported from the United States in 1997 and is now a fugitive living in Damascus, Syria.
Previous posts: Terrorists Run to Ground, Hamas at Home, Terror Ties in US