HLF Prosecution: CAIR "affiliated with" Hamas
by Brian Hecht
September 4, 2007
On Tuesday, the prosecution in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) filed its motion in opposition to the amicus brief filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
In addition to picking apart the arguments laid out in CAIR's brief piece by piece, the government set an important precedent, officially and definitively linking CAIR to Hamas, writing:
In the instant case, striking CAIR's name from the attachment to the Trial Brief will not prevent its conspiratorial involvement with HLF, and others affiliated with Hamas, from becoming a matter of public record. That has already occurred as a consequence of the presentation of evidence at trial. (emphasis added)
The government also argues some legal basics, that CAIR has no standing to petition its removal from the list of unindicted co-conspirators since the list is not directly pertinent to the "actual, ongoing controversy" of HLF's criminal trial, basically that, by filing the brief, CAIR has not acted as a "friend of the court," but rather only out of self interest, and that, in the brief, CAIR has failed to show any injury as a result of its inclusion on the list of unindicted co-conspirators.
In arguing lack of injury, the prosecution makes similar points outlined in the August 21st article by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), CAIR's Reputation and Incredibly Fluctuating Membership Roll. The motion states:
As support for its alleged injury-in-fact, CAIR provided this Court with data solely from a time period prior to the Government's submission of its Trial Brief, a period when the alleged improper disclosure could not have affected such membership. CAIR alleges that the "negative reaction by the American public can be seen in the decline of membership rates and donations resulting from the government's publicizing of CAIR as an unindicted coconspirator" (Amicus Br. at 10); that "the donations that they rely on for funding have suffered since the government named them as an unindicted coconspirator"( Amicus Br. at 38); and that "the government's labeling of them as an unindicted co-conspirator has chilled their associational activity" (Amicus Br. at 51-52). In support for these assertions, however, CAIR relies upon a June 2007 article in the Washington Times, which revealed (by reviewing CAIR's tax filings) that CAIR's membership declined 90 percent from 2001 through 2006, down from 29,000 members to less than 1,700. ... The article provides no further factual information regarding CAIR's declining membership since 2006. Ironically, the very same article, upon which it now relies, was publicly discredited by CAIR executive director, Nihad Awad, who claimed the article was "false and misleading."Additionally, the motion argues that the relationship between CAIR, HLF and the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP) is already public information, as described in a footnote on page 12:
The role of CAIR founder Omar Ahmad on the Palestine Committee, and the presence of Ahmad and Nihad Awad at the 1993 meeting of the Palestine Committee in Philadelphia, were described during the public trial of Muhammad Hamid Khalil Salah and Abdelhaleem Hasan Abdelraziq Ashqar in November 1996. See United States v. Salah, et al., Case No. 03-978 (N.D. Ill. 2006). During that trial, defendant Ashqar was represented by William B. Moffitt, author of CAIR's current motion for leave to file an amicus brief.The government also argues that CAIR's amicus brief should be denied because it lacks both timeliness and usefulness, and, as perhaps a final nail in the coffin, that the brief is wholly irrelevant since both testimony and documentary evidence admitted at trial conclusively demonstrate the conspiratorial relationship between CAIR and HLF.
For some examples of such evidence, see:
September 4, 2007 10:21 PM