Skip to comments.3 charged with funding terrorists released
Posted on 08/06/2004 3:00:30 PM PDT by Dubya
DALLAS - Three men indicted last month on charges of using a Muslim charity to finance terrorists were released from jail Friday while they await an October trial.
A federal magistrate ordered the release of the men, including the president and chairman of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which prosecutors say was a financial supporter of the militant group Hamas.
A prosecutor did not oppose their release during a brief hearing. Two other defendants were arrested in California and New Jersey and are expected to be returned to Texas, and another two are fugitives outside the United States.
In a clear sign of the government's effort to win the case, Attorney General John Ashcroft personally announced the indictments July 27 on charges including conspiracy, aiding a designated terrorist group and money laundering.
Holy Land president Shukri Abu Baker, chairman Ghassan Elashi and a top fund-raiser, Mufid Abdulqader, were released.
In a separate case, Elashi was convicted last month of shipping computers to Libya and Syria in defiance of restrictions imposed on countries deemed state sponsors of terrorism. He was free until sentencing in October, only to be arrested again after the Holy Land indictments were handed up by a grand jury in Dallas.
A lawyer for the men, Tim Evans, said Friday that the government's lack of opposition to the release indicated that they are not dangers to the community. He said the government's case relied too much on an FBI report that he said was filled with errors.
The FBI memo detailed years of surveillance of the group, including attendance by officials at meetings to raise money for Hamas. The indictment alleges that Holy Land provided more than $12.4 million to individuals and organizations linked to Hamas from 1995 to 2001.
Holy Land's stated mission was to aid needy families in the West Bank, Gaza and other places.
Federal Magistrate Paul D. Stickney ordered Baker, Elashi and Abdulqader released after a 10-minute hearing. The men did not speak. They sat in the jury box, dressed in blue jeans, gray T-shirts and blue tennis shoes without laces.
The men will be confined to home except for work, doctor visits and religious activities. The magistrate ordered them to wear electronic monitors on their ankles.
The men declined to speak to reporters as they left the courthouse.
Gimmie a break you peaceful Muslims.
Dumb move....watch them flee the country.
It seemed to be a dumb move to me also.
They might wish they were back in jail if some of those people whoses families were killed because of them get their hands on them.
Get a rope boys heh heh
Aw hell, its a wonder we dont fly them to Syria or something. Theyve already released over 100 of their unlawful combatants from Guantanamo. Havent executed a single one yet.
It used to infuriate me but now I can control myself somewhat and am only mildly disgusted at the administration that allows it.
I hope they string them up to see their so called Allah. These vermim should be exterminated from existence.
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