Written by Andrew Cochran
Today, the jury hearing the second Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial delivered guilty verdicts against HLF and all of the individual defendants, a stunning victory for federal prosecutors. This site has been among the leading websites in discussing the ramifications of the case. You can read our archive of posts on HLF and a transcript of our special panel, held last December 11, on the first case. You can download the exhibits in the second trial from the NEFA Foundation website and read special reports on the trial at the IPT website.
The verdict also renders judgement on the long list of unindicted co-conspirators (Acrobat file) proposed by the prosecutors and accepted by the judge. They stand "convicted" of their association with the convicted felons in illegal and felonious fundraising for Hamas. Those unindicted co-conspirators include CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust, and the Islamic Relief Committee.
After all, the naming of an unindicted co-conspirator is no small matter; it's actively discouraged by the Justice Department. The U.S. Attorneys Manual at DOJ advises federal prosecutors to avoid naming them. A prosecutor can't just throw a list out there; the presiding judge must conclude that the individual's statements or acts were in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy. Moreover, the Attorney's Manual discourages the actual naming of any party not actually charged in an indictment, noting, "Courts have applied this reasoning to preclude the public identification of unindicted third-party wrongdoers in plea hearings, sentencing memoranda, and other government pleadings." CAIR, ISNA, and NAIT asked the judge in the second trial to delete their organizations from that list, but he has refused thus far, apparently validating the list.
In light of the seriousness of the designation and the sweeping convictions, it is a conflict of interest for any federal or state government agency to have a business relationship with any of the unindicted co-conspirators in the HLF case. It's especially preposterous for the FBI to continue in a business relationship with CAIR. Now that the verdicts are in, the White House and the Attorney General must suspend that relationship. Moreover, President Bush should issue, and President-elect Obama should continue, a statement of policy which mandates that no component of the U.S. government will enter into any contract, grant, or agreement with any person or entity which is an unindicted co-coinspirator in a federal criminal case brought by the Department of Justice.
In my opinion, U.S. financial institutions should also cut whatever ties they might have to the UICCs and add them to their lists of "politically exposed persons" for purposes of meeting their USA Patriot Act and Bank Secrecy Act responsibilities.