October 26, 2008
HLF Trial Update & Prayer Points
Holy Land Foundation Trial
Pray Isaiah 60:18 “Violence (Hamas) will not be heard again in your land…But you will call your walls salvation (Yeshua), and your gates praise (tehillah).”
WEEK FIVE Report: Oct 19-24, 2008
Behind the Veil: Inside Terrorism
The 5th week of the U.S. Government case against the Holy Land Foundation for providing material aid to a designated terrorist organization kicked off with the testimony of Major “Lior” of the Israeli Defense Forces who provided the foundation for evidence that will be center stage as a second Israeli Intelligence officer brings relevant testimony as to the significance of evidence seized during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.
Afterwards, Defense attorneys continued to try to soften the damaging blow of testimony given by a Rome, Georgia imam Shorbagi an ex-HLF representative who has been convicted of providing material aid to Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. The spectator seats have been especially filled with HLF supporters during the times insider Mohamed Shorbagi testified for the government.
At the end of his testimony, prosecutor Jim Jacks questioned Shorbagi about his fear of being deported and returned to the Palestinian territories. Shorbagi, who was extremely hesitant to voice his fears, admitted it was a “security” concern. He probably will not be much safer in the U.S. based on obvious community displeasure with his testimony unless steps are also taken to provide a new life and identity for him and his family. Shorbagi is an unrepentant Islamist supporter of Hamas, however, which does not bode well for his future safety among his own.
Then FBI agent Lara Burns returned to the stand to provide jurors a connect-the-dots overview of the money trail which most observers agree is a critical but intensely boring area of testimony. The prosecutors have wisely broken up this testimony with many other witnesses, a great many of whom did not testify in the first trial. Prosecutors have done an outstanding job of painting a cohesive picture of the case against these defendants for the jurors.
On Wednesday the government called the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC) from the Department of the Treasury, Robert McBrien, whose testimony dealt with how terror groups use “Front” organizations to disguise their primary mission of funding and money laundering for the terror orgs. McBrien covered the OFAC rules that forbid even contributions to charities that aid specially designated terror groups. The jury jumped to attention when McBrien testified about the aspect of terror aid that seeks to recruit and propagandize children, something jurors have seen repeatedly in HLF videos entered in the evidence. This fear seems well grounded based on conversations overheard among the spectators.
On Friday the prosecution called Dr. Bruce Hoffman, the man who literally wrote the book on Counter Terrorism called Inside Terrorism, which is used in university counterterrorism courses.
Hoffman’s testimony, which dealt with the critical role charities play in terrorist organizations, provided a contextual overview for jurors about how the terror infrastructure works together - the social aspects designed to win the hearts and minds of the people, a hand in the glove of violent terrorism organizations. Hoffman testified that terror organizations without a social arm are the “least consequential” historically.
This trial marks the first time Hoffman has testified in a terror trial, despite his knock out terrorism expert credentials.
One by one each of the five main defense attorneys representing the HLF defendants passed on the opportunity to cross examine Dr. Hoffman. Many of the defense attorneys were yukking it up among themselves during Hoffman’s testimony – a display of bravado the jurors probably did not even notice due to their rapt attention of Dr. Hoffman's testimony.
Little does the American public know how much is riding on the successful prosecution of this case. Hardly any are paying attention as Islamists and the terror groups that represent them burrow deeper and deeper in the fabric of American life.
Friday a woman with a full face veil leaving only her eyes visible came to the court, although I did not see her enter the actual courtroom. Is this America’s future?
Not if we take our stand and declare the Divine Will. I would liken the importance of obtaining convictions in this court case to driving a boundary stake into the ground forbidding the further advance of Islamic terrorism operations in the United States.
Please continue to pray for this trial as the Lord leads and based on the prayer points issued to date. I would add that prayer should continue to be made for the jurors to execute justice and for the prosecution and its witnesses continue to present a solid, understandable and fully convincing case.
Pray as the Defense prepares to deliver its case that no lies, half-truths, deception, subterfuge will stand up to the light of truth in the eyes of the jury. Pray that button-pushing issues that the defense tries to use to outweigh the truth in this case will been seen through easily by the jurors.
Pray the jurors be given the hearts of lions, the wisdom of Solomon and ability to deliver a verdict that will protect our nation from the terrorists operating here.
Pray the U.S. Government will drive a new legal boundary stake into the ground against terrorist groups that cannot be removed and will trigger a new day in the U.S. counter terror ranks.