Two founding members of what was once the nation’s largest Muslim charity were each sentenced to 65 years in prison Wednesday (Actually, it’s 50 years total between them. The AP’s math is off) for funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Shukri Abu Baker, 50, and Ghassan Elashi, 55, were among the five members of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development sentenced to prison Wednesday.
The men and Holy Land were convicted in November on 108 charges, following a mistrial in which the government in 2007 failed to sway jurors that the charity sent more than $12 million to Hamas.
Mufid Abdulqader, 49, was sentenced to 20 years on three conspiracy counts. Mohammad El-Mezain, 55, got 15 years for one count of conspiracy to support a terrorist organization. Abdulrahman Odeh got 15 years for three conspiracy counts.
The Holy Land leaders were convicted on charges ranging from supporting a terrorist organization to money laundering and tax fraud. The group wasn’t accused of violence, but of bankrolling schools and social welfare programs the government says are controlled by Hamas. Holy Land itself was convicted of 32 counts.
It’s illegal to offer Hamas support because it was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in 1995. The group has taken credit for hundreds of suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians.
A daughter of one of the convicted Hamas supporters opined:
“I’ve been with my dad 100 percent of the way… I saw the work he did. He devoted his life to helping needy children. But after 9/11, I guess, there’s hysteria. They pick and choose people, and unfortunately it’s us.”
Hamas terrorists are ‘needy children’? I don’t fucking think so. Secondly, you get picked and chosen if you’re part of a terrorist cell or a supporter. Sucks to be you.
I’d send the assholes to GITMO.