Wednesday, July 18, 2007


See the July 15 posting (below) for an introduction to the
See also for more (and current) information:

HOLY LAND FOUNDATION Trial in brief (Dallas)

A few interesting scholarly article quotes about the Holy Land Foundation case:

CQ WEEKLY – IN FOCUS May 28, 2007 – Page 1572
“Islamic Charities Await their Day in Court”
By Shawn Zeller, CQ (Congressional Quarterly) Staff

“What we’ll learn is how far they are willing to go with a guilt-by-association standard,” says Kay Guinane, an opponent of the government’s crackdown and director of nonprofit speech rights at the Washington advocacy group OMB Watch. She argues that, at most, the government’s case shows that Holy Land unwittingly provided humanitarian aid to Palestinian groups that in turn gave some of it to the families of suicide bombers as part of larger disbursements of assistance to the needy.

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Apr2007, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p82-82
“Conscience and Principles”

The article reports that defense lawyers for the Muslim charity Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development have disclosed discrepancies between an official summary and the verbatim transcripts of a wiretapped conversation involving Holy Land officials. The charity was shut down by the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush weeks after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The article states that the summary included anti-Semitic comments and inculpatory remarks never uttered by the defendants.

Chronicle of Philanthropy 10/17/2002, Vol. 15 Issue 1
“A Shocking Silence on Muslim Charities.”
Richard L. Moyers, executive director of the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

“….The treatment of these organizations raises troubling questions for all charities. Will any organization be subject to the same treatment if the government claims links to terrorism? How broadly will terrorism be defined, and what level of proof or connection will result in an organization being shut down? What about eco-terrorism, or domestic disruptions such as the protests organized against global trade and financial institutions? If a major U.S. philanthropic institution is discovered to have made a grant to an organization that the government claims is linked to terrorism, will it be subject to the same seize and shut-down treatment? The implications for Muslim charities are already being felt and are disturbing. No list of ‘clean’ organizations—those organizations not under government investigation—exists, creating a chilling effect on donations to all Muslim organizations, especially those that work overseas. Millions of dollars in contributions intended for legitimate charitable purposes have been frozen by the Treasury Department, and the work for which the funds were intended remains undone….”

See also:
OMB Watch:
The Challenge of Being a Muslim Charity:
The USA Patriot Act and its Impact on Non-Profit Organizations:

HOLY LAND FOUNDATION scholarly articles

For anyone willing to take time to read peer-reviewed scholarship on the case of the Holy Land Foundation (as opposed to offering up their ability to discern truth to the Washington Post or the Dallas Morning News) I suggest beginning with two law review articles. The second I quote at length (sorry, “sound bites” won't help in understanding the complexities of the case). The first I post the only bibliographical information.

William & Mary Law Review (March 2004) 45 Wm and Mary L. Rev. 1341
High Alert: The Government's War on the Financing of Terrorism and its Implications for Donors, Domestic Charitable Organizations, and Global Philanthropy.”
by NINA J. CRIMM – Professor of Law, St. John's University School of Law; LL.M. in Taxation, Georgetown University (1982); J.D. and M.B.A., Tulane University (1979); A.B., Washington University (1972).

Michigan Journal of International Law vol. 27, 4 (2006)
“Anti-Terrorist Finance In The United Kingdom And United States”
by LAURA K. DONOHUE — Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. This Article forms part of a book-length project on counterterrorist law in the United States and United Kingdom, which will be coming out next year with Cambridge University Press.

....On December 1, 2001, Hamas orchestrated two suicide bombings in Israel that left 25 people dead. The following day, Prime Minister Sharon asked President Bush to act against Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLFRD), [emphasis added] a California corporation headquartered in Texas which, according to its annual report, distributed approximately $6 million per year to refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel. 553 (It also raised money for non-Islamic causes, such as the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing and, in 2001, the attacks on the World Trade Center.) By December 4, 2001, the United States had frozen the organization’s assets and raided its offices in Texas, California, New Jersey, and Illinois.

President Bush said the money went to Hamas to “support schools and indoctrinate children to grow up into suicide bombers.”554 (Ironically, one supposedly Hamas-controlled institution financed by HLFRD, the al Razi hospital in the West Bank, also received support from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the UAE Red Crescent.)555

On March 7, 2002, HLFRD sued the DOJ, the Department of State, and the Department of the Treasury. The organization claimed a violation of its First Amendment right to religious freedom, Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, and Fifth Amendment right to due process. Court documents revealed that the decision to freeze the organization’s assets came from a November 5, 2001, 49-page memo written by Dale L. Watson, assistant director of the counterterrorist division of the FBI, claiming that HLFRD was the “primary fund-raising entity for Hamas.” The complaint noted that the group conducted extensive charitable and humanitarian work with the International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent, NATO, the UNHCR, Turkey, the UN World Food Program, UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, and the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund.

The state never brought criminal charges against HLFRD. Nor, as was earlier noted, did it manage to prosecute BFI, or a host of other charities whose assets it froze, for terrorist contributions.556 The United States’ failure to substantiate such claims, [emphasis added] the introduction of measures that allowed for freezing assets on the basis of mere association, and the state’s disproportionate focus on Muslim charities created an environment hostile to legitimate Islamic businesses and charities. Admittedly, the alienation of Arabs and Muslims is also the product of other official policies, such as indefinite detention, and informal practices, such as planning commissions’ reluctance to approve the building of mosques in the aftermath of September 11. But the cumulative impact is borne in the economic affect on families, as well as a larger strain on social services. At a broader level, minority groups may develop a lack of confidence in the political process, preventing social cohesion and political participation.....

553. Mike Allen & Steven Mufson, U.S. Seizes Assets of Three Islamic Groups, Wash. Post, Dec. 5, 2001, at A1; Lee, supra note 252, at 5.
554. White House News Releases, President George W. Bush, Remarks by the President on the Financial Fight Against Terror (Dec. 4, 2001), available at
555. UAE Red Crescent Donates “Huge Chunk” of Aid to Palestinians in Jenin, BBC News, Oct. 29, 2002; Press Release, USAID, USAID Delivers Humanitarian Relief to People of Jenin, Apr. 16, 2002; available at .
556. In the case of Benevolence International Foundation, DOJ never brought criminal charges alleging that the organization assisted al Qaeda. Instead, the government brought suit only after the entities with their assets frozen had submitted court documents that claimed BIF had not provided aid to organizations known to be engaged in violence. When the organization later attempted to amend the statement, DOJ counter-sued, saying that BIF donated X-rays and hand and toe warmers to Chechen fighters and that it had misled its donors in this regard. BIF and Enaam Arnaout entered a plea bargain in response. Grand Jury Charges, United States of America v. Enaam M. Arnaout, No. 02 CR 892 (N.D. Ill. 2002); Criminal Comp., U.S. v. Benevolence International Foundation, Inc., and Enaam M. Arnaout, Case No. 02 CR 414 (N.D. Ill. 2002). See also U.S. v. Enaam M. Arnaout, No. 02 CR 892 (N.D. Ill. 2002) (laying out the violations); Plea Agreement, U.S. v. Enaam M. Arnaout, No. 02 CR 892 (N.D. Ill. 2002). But see Press Release, United States Dep’t of the Treasury, Treasury Designates Benevolence International Foundation and Related Entities as Financiers of Terrorism, (saying that links to bin Laden and al Qaeda extend beyond activity carried out in the 1980s).