Saturday, November 29, 2008

Guilty on all 108 Counts

Nov 29, 2008

By now you are probably aware that the verdict has been delivered in the Hamas terrorism financing trial in the federal court in Dallas, Texas.

When the gag order on the attorneys was lifted, one of the HLF defense attorneys Linda Moreno told reporters, "Twelve good American citizens in the first trial didn't convict anyone of anything and 12 good American citizens in the second trial convicted everyone of everything. If you can make sense of that ... explain it to me."

Moreno may have conveniently forgotten but a juror from the 2007 trial that ended in a mistrial, William Neal, told reporters at the end of that trial: “Honestly, if I had not been on that jury this would have been a different case.”

We were not about to let that happen again unchallenged by intercessory prayer.

It was a great blessing to have so many people especially in Texas praying over the 2008 trial. We were positioned as the gatekeepers for this nation, and truly the impact of the verdicts goes far beyond even the borders of the U.S., or Israel for that matter. This is the kind of ability to successfully prosecute terror financing networks that other nations in this fight - like the U.K., France, Germany, etc., - needed to be reassured we are still in the fight with them against global Islamist terrorism.

Hebrews 11:3 says, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." We were calling the will of God as it is in heaven, into the earthly realm. It is the beauty of the simplicity of our faith and also our calling: to impact the world around us for good by calling for the will of God to be established in all important matters.

Below are excerpts from my private reports to intercessors in the final weeks of the trial. Some of the information does not need to be public, but I am uploading most excerpts for the purpose of giving other intercessors a model for taking up issues important to our nation in a concentrated prayer surge.

Nov 28, 2008
Praying the Headlines

In case you haven’t heard yet the “charity” and all five defendants were found guilty on all 108 counts. The verdict was read, Nov. 24, 2008.

I had the sense that we were going to be giving thanks before Thanksgiving for the verdict rendered. You would not believe what an energizing shot this has been to the whole network of people in our country whose job it is to deal with counter-terrorism - from the FBI to the Department of Justice and the counter-terrorism experts who investigate and inform. None of them was really confident this jury would return convictions. I think they were all mentally prepared for anything but the justice that was delivered. Thank God He gives His children the power to speak into situations like this one and tip the balance of spiritual powers at work to the side of Divine justice.

This was an important case to win and a primary reason is because it has 'righted' a wrong that was allowed to linger in the U.S. from at least 1993. From the first time I heard an official admission that we were allowing fund raising in the U.S. for terrorist organizations that were murdering and maiming civilians in Israel, I knew that the U.S. was bound to reap what we were sowing in terrorism. The Word says that we are not to be deceived, that whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

Once there has been 'repentance' - which is made official in the jury verdict - then blessing can again begin to flow. Indeed, in the same day another terror trial that was in appeals court upheld a verdict against three other Islamist terrorists in the U.S. Then, of course, the terror attacks in India also bring Islamist terrorism back to the front burner. Americans would like to forget about the war on terrorism, but it is not going away. So we must give our counter terrorism forces and prosecutors the tools to really fight to win. In the Name of the Lord, may God grant a turnaround in what the U.S. is willing to put up with from Islamists who have been like wolves in sheep's clothing among us.

An excellent editorial at the National Review is one of the best perspectives I have read in follow up to the HLF trial verdict. No other general news media has quite grasped the significance of these events as this article called Not so holy. It is a short piece you might enjoy reading.

I appreciate each and every one who joined in to pray over this matter even though it may not have seemed like the normal matter for Christian intercession. I believe that we are called to step into situations just as this and make an impact on our world by speaking the will of God as it is in heaven to be established on the earth. We are not “of the world” but we are impact the world by calling those things that be not as though they are.

Nov 24, 2008
All Guilty on All Counts

Praise God for the victory in this trial! It is so significant that this jury did what many counter-terrorism experts doubted they would do and I have no doubt that it is the prayers of the saints that brought home this verdict of all guilty on all counts! Praise God that He has answered.

I have been reading the counter-terrorism experts almost preparing themselves for a loss. I cannot tell you how important this win is for the brave men and women who are in the war on terror in the United States, Israel…even in other nations of the world. This was a spiritual line drawn in the sand and I thank each and every one of you for rising up and calling for God’s will as it is in heaven, to be executed on the earth. This is the battle we are in and the impact we can have in the affairs of state. It is awesome and we serve an awesome God!

Holy Land Foundation defendants guilty on all counts
By JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News 03:28 PM CST on Monday, November 24, 2008

Nov 21, 2008
Jury Deliberations Continue

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of convictions in this trial. We really need the precedent of convictions, especially as we are about to undergo a leadership change in Washington, D.C. It is no secret that President Elect Barack Obama, along with most liberal Democrats have underestimated the peril Islamists pose to the safety and welfare of our nation. They, like much of the media, have bought into the deception of these groups that they do not belong to radical terror groups but are non-threatening people like you and I. This is just not so.

Even the Church has been dangerously persuaded in the tolerance arguments Islamists have used for cover. There is a difference in moderate oriented Islam and radical violence-oriented Islamists. Some say there is no difference, but there is and we better start learning how to distinguish between them – our safety depends on it. Our prayers should be in earnest for an awakening – one that doesn’t cost us dearly – in the United States as to the true nature of the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

In the meantime, please pray that these 12 jurors would get it right. That God would intervene in those deliberations and reveal the truth even to those who may be adamantly opposed to seeing it, so our law enforcement and legal system will have these convictions to draw a line in the sand of terrorism fund raising and money laundering schemes.

As I wrote in a comment following Jason Trahan’s report this morning in the Dallas Morning News: It is mind-blowing what heroic declarations the tight circle of attorneys who defend terrorism-connected figures in the U.S. attribute to their clients. (William) Moffat, along with HLF attorney Linda Moreno, successfully defended Sami al-Arian in Florida. “Not Guilty” certainly did not mean “innocent” because Al-Arian later pleaded guilty to supporting the Islamic Jihad terror group.

Moffat makes comparisons between Al-Arian and Mandela, while Moreno has been quoted as saying, "It was a privilege to represent Sami Al-Arian, Moreno said, because cases like his are the civil rights cases of the 21st century, and tests of the Constitution not seen since the Red Scare of the 1950s. Moreno said she feels optimistic because, although the government is failing, juries are passing the test. The jurors she has faced are white, Southern, and not especially well-informed conservatives, she noted, yet they get it and do not convict."

Collectively, the defense attorneys in the Holy Land trial have apparently never found a terrorist case in the U.S. that they didn’t like. Between them they have defended individuals that were accused of involvement in the World Trade Center bombing; the U.S.S. Cole bombing; Bin Ladin's personal secretary; Lynn Stewart, the defense attorney who represented Sheik Abdul Rahman (1st World Trade Center) and passed messages for him; knowing funder of the Islamic Jihad terror group, Wadih El-Hage and Al-Arian, Salim Hamdan, Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri, a senior Hamas operative, Abdelhaleem Ashqar nd others.

These attorneys may see themselves and their clients in heroic terms but they are certainly not making the United States a safer place for the vast majority of the population that does not have terrorist connections.

Everyone deserves a vigorous defense, but these terror-defenders do not care about the public welfare. Since the taxpayers have picked up the tab to defend the Holy Land Foundation defendants in two trials to the tune of several million dollars, they should also understand these aren’t just run of the mill public defenders, but those whose specialty is terrorism. There is nothing heroic about them or their clients.

The only ignorance in the public (and most of the media) is ignorance of the solid evidence that was presented by the government in this case. It is an inexcusable and deadly mistake on our part. –end-

Our battle does not end with the Holy Land Foundation trial, although I am asking for you all to continue to intercede for Divine Justice to prevail in the case. Hopefully, from praying for this trial you will have become acquainted with the greater picture of the battle we face in this nation and, as those who can intercede, more aware of the ongoing issues of how our government deals with Islamist terrorism.

An Israeli prophetic brother, Asher Intrater, wrote recently, “…I am gravely concerned that the West is vastly underestimating the evil and danger of Islamic Jihad.”

I second his grave concern.

Thank you for praying fervently over these jurors, that they would deliver a verdict that speaks of justice and truth. Every time we fail to convict, it becomes harder for convictions to be won in the future. May God’s justice catch up with these men before Thanksgiving!

Giving Thanks for God’s Justice,
Donna Diorio

Articles this week covering the trial by Jason Trahan, Dallas Morning News:
Holy Land trial may have lasting effects
07:38 AM CST on Friday, November 21, 2008
As jurors continue to deliberate in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing retrial, supporters on both side of the aisle appear to be preparing to claim a moral victory – whatever the verdict is.

Today marks the jurors' seventh day of deliberations, which follow nearly two months of testimony. Last year's panel deliberated 19 days before a judge declared them deadlocked and called for a mistrial. Continues online

Full collection of Trahan’s CRIME blog coverage of the HLF trial:

And the reports Nov 17, 2008
Holy Land Foundation…The Retrial
By Dennis Lormel, who created the FBI's Terrorist Financing Operations Section

Nine/Eleven Finding Answers
All the evidence in the HLF retrial presented in a manner that connects the dots. This is more than you ever wanted to know about the evidence, but even if you only skim over it lightly you will be able to begin to see the weight of the evidence that has been presented against the defendants.

Nov 7, 2008 Update
HLF Trial Testimony Ends, Goes to Closing Arguments

In a surprise move yesterday following the testimony of a former U.S. consul general to the Palestinians - who the same day as retiring from the State Department became a paid consultant to Yasser Arafat to the tune of 3 to 4 million over a 7 year period - the lead attorneys for the five Holy Land Foundation defendants stood and declared, “The defense rests.”

Today, there is a slight possibility that the government prosecutors will call a government rebuttal witness to counter the highly biased testimony of Edward Abington, who proved to be the most slippery of the defense witnesses. Defense attorneys appeared exultant as each made declarations of resting their case on behalf of each of the defendants.

Pray that the jury will not be only influenced by the last testimony they heard and will not be fooled by those providing cover for terrorism enemies.

Pray that God will grant this jury to be made up of 12 reasonable deciders who will not put the security of the people of the United States on the backburner while giving the benefit of their doubts to people who have been clearly shown to be motivated in their life choices toward the hateful agenda of radical Islamist associations.

Pray for the jury instructions to be fair and not to overly burden the jury, so they are not able to render a just verdict.

In this case, there has been undeniable evidence of the terrorism connections of these defendants, yet there are always high placed individuals willing to offer “expert” testimony that denies what is obvious. From the beginning we have asked that you pray for the evil spirits that provide cover and camouflage for the nefarious activities of these defendants to be stripped away so the truth will be laid bare. They have been getting away with continuing in evil because of the public being persuaded that they are being judged unfairly.

Pray with us now that the Judge who judges all things fairly will arise and cause His verdict to be rendered against them. That their funding of a terror group – which will be a precedent for all subsequent terrorism financing cases – will be stopped by this 12-member Dallas jury panel following the leading of the Lord, not falling for the deception of the enemy.

Pray the Spirit of the Lord to preside as Foreman over their deliberations. For their eyes to see things they have not seen before. For dreams in the night to reveal and break any deceptions harbored in their worldviews that would cause them to try to believe excuses rather than discern the truth.

Pray the court room and the jury room be filled with an angelic presence as the warfare over this verdict is fought out in the spirit and that we may all see that truly there are more that be with us than be with them in this battle.

The watch on this trial suddenly shifted gears yesterday when the defense announced it was resting its case. It is a new type of battle now that is centered completely on 12 fellow normal citizens coming to a decision that will affect the future safety of the entire U.S. and Israeli populations. This jury’s decision will not wipe out terrorist acts, but their decision could put a major dent in the freedom of terrorist agents to work freely among us. Giving law enforcement and other government agencies working hard to protect us a reason to believe that those they arrest will not just be set free in the legal system.

Please pray for the jurors until a verdict is rendered.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Eye Witness to the Holy Land Foundation Re-Trial, Week 6

WEEK SIX Report Covering Oct 27-31, 2008
HLF Trial Update & Prayer Points

Saturday, November 1, 2008
The prosecution rests;
the bluster, indignation and contempt begins

One thing that has stood out about the defense cross examination of witnesses in the case against the Holy Land Foundation defendants and that is how little the five defense attorneys had to work with each time they were given the opportunity to challenge witness testimony. When one considers exactly what points the defense attorneys did raise in cross examination there was little substantive challenge of facts.

Instead defense attorneys have done their cross exams with a game face of bluster, indignation and contempt. When Josh Dratel comes to the podium we can be confident we are about to see bluster; Hollander does the indignation; and Moreno’s specialty is the contempt. Theatrics are what you depend on when you have no real defense.

Hopefully the jury has seen enough of this kind of thing to realize that when defense attorneys start making an issue out of things like what the definition of the word “is” is, it is nothing more than a shell game. It is the truth that is being hidden and moved around by sleight of hand techniques to confuse the jury. It is very easy to get drawn into the thinking that these cases are little more than a sporting event where attorneys are the winners and losers. (Remember the O.J. trial?)

Pray that as the defense case is presented, jurors will not be caught up in the theatrics of criminal defense. Pray they will be able to keep focused on real evidence and what is truly reasonable to draw from all they have seen. What is at stake is far greater than a bunch of attorneys who have made it their specialty to defend terrorism in the United States Courts. Pray that the jury does not lose sight of their charge to do justice on the behalf of all of the citizens of the United States.

Over the next week or so, the defense will bring witnesses who like themselves have been content not to dig too deeply into what the Holy Land Foundation was actually funding in the Palestinian territories.

The first such witness was former Congressman (D-TX) and attorney John Bryant, who represented HLF during the 1990’s when a series of Dallas Morning News investigative reports began to unearth ties to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. One thing from Bryant’s testimony was clear: he took his clients’ word at face value without question. The U.S. government representatives that he tried to approach on behalf of the HLF were not so na├»ve and rebuffed his efforts to get them to tell him what HLF could do to remove suspicions about their activities.

Last year the defense also called another former government witness, Edward Abington who under the Clinton administration was the US consul general in Jerusalem. After leaving that position Abington became a paid consultant to Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority. He reportedly received $2.5 million for those services – a fact that leaves little doubt as to where Abington’s sympathies lie.

Apparently it is his former government title that the defense hopes will impress the jury. In my view Abington came off in testimony last year resembling a ‘banty rooster’. He will likely be called to testify again this week and likely that he will stick to his testimony that Hamas is not “Islamist”. Abington will be used to undermine any empathy or trust the jury has for Israel defending itself against terrorism and the Israeli security testimony that has been heard in the trial.

Another potential expert witness for the defense is Dr. Nathan Brown who testified last year primarily seeking to discredit the testimony of the Israel Security Agency counterterrorism attorney “Avi” whose identity was shielded to protect the agent and his family from kidnap and murder plots terrorists have executed as retaliation in the past.

Dr. Brown would have to be far more dazzling than he was last year. The prosecution presented two outstanding terrorism experts with much stronger credentials in the testimony of Dr. Matthew Levitt and Dr. Bruce Hoffman. Dr. Brown is clearly outgunned in his knowledge of terrorism in general and Hamas specifically.

Pray that jurors will have great discernment about those offering viewpoints in this trial. That the truth will ring true and falsehoods be glaring.

Last year the defense only called five witnesses. They maintained that the government did not make a case against their clients. When the prosecution rested on Friday, each of the five defendants’ attorneys filed separate motions to dismiss the case which Judge Solis denied. This year the prosecution brought five witnesses they did not call last year, including former HLF-insider Imam Mohamed Shorbagi. Surely the defense attorneys do not really believe the case against their clients has not been made this year…nevertheless:

Please continue to be in prayer this week for the jurors as they begin to hear all the counter accusations of defense lawyers against the government who will be accused of Islamophobia, witch hunts, invasion of privacy and other conspiracy laced theories designed to take jurors eyes off of the evidence of Hamas terrorism affiliates in our own backyard in Dallas, Texas.

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).”

The defense can say HLF only funded things meant to raise the quality of life for Palestinians but the full array of evidence negates that claim.

One profound example of that are the video clips of kindergarten ceremonies funded by HLF. A 5 or 6 year old forcefully screaming out a hate speech against Jews as part of a presentation for an audience should tell outsiders exactly what kind of brain washing the kindergarten is trying to achieve.

Listening to that jarring expression of hatred from a pre-schooler, I thought about Hitler's rousing hate-filled speeches. I have no idea however, what could possibly have been going through the minds of many spectators whose response to the video clips was smiling and smirking. Pride? God help us. As long as children are born and raised with indoctrination of such intense hatred - encouraged to see suicide mass murder as a lifetime achievement - there will never be peace in the Middle East. This case is about not allowing funding for those kinds of indoctrinations to continue.

Everyone who prays should pray this jury will not succumb to exaggerations of the legal measure they must use to judge this case. It is not how well the defense attorneys can act with bluster, indignation and contempt that matters. They are not the issue and this trial is about far more than the sport of criminal defense.

We must put down a boundary stake in our legal system which cuts off ambiguity in terrorism financing. This is a critical case. Please continue to stand in the gap for justice to prevail.

Articles this week covering the trial by Jason Trahan, Dallas Morning News:

Holy Land prosecutors rest case; defense calls first witness

Holy Land jurors get a sample of Hamas martyr propaganda

Full collection of Trahan’s CRIME blog coverage of the HLF trial:

And the Investigative Project on Terrorism reports
Israeli Official Details Zakat Committee Links to Hamas

Nine/Eleven Finding Answers
All the evidence in the HLF retrial presented in a manner that connects the dots. This is more than you ever wanted to know about the evidence, but even if you only skim over it lightly you will be able to begin to see the weight of the evidence that has been presented against the defendants.