DALLAS: An unknown Islamist militant appealed to a Texas-based Muslim charity for money to help fund a jihad, or holy war, against Israel, according to a letter that surfaced in the terrorist-financing trial of the charity's leaders.
Other letters appeared to thank the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development for helping the children of martyrs — suicide bombers, prosecutors implied.
The letters were among thousands of pages of documents that prosecutors claim show financial dealings between Holy Land, which was shut down in December 2001, and groups controlled by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group the U.S. government considers a terrorist organization.
Five former leaders of Holy Land are on trial in federal district court on charges of raising more than $12 million for Hamas, conspiracy and money laundering. They could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.
Defense lawyers, who will begin making their case on Tuesday, have said the men gave humanitarian aid to schools, orphanages and hospitals in Palestinian areas of Israel but denied helping Hamas.
Prosecutors finished presenting evidence on Thursday after six weeks of testimony.
The most inflammatory document introduced by prosecutors was an unsigned, handwritten letter in Arabic from the Islamic Relief Committee, which the U.S. government contends is part of Hamas' network of social organization in Gaza and the West Bank. The unknown author told leaders of Holy Land that Palestinians were happy to see fighters carrying out attacks on Jews.
"Jihad in Palestine is different from any other Jihad; the meaning of killing a Jew for the liberation of Palestine cannot be compared to any Jihad on earth," the author wrote.
The letter implored supporters to "provide us with what helps Weapons, weapons, our brothers."...