Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)

Fighting Chicago’s Connection to International Terrorism

JCRC has monitored and exposed the Chicago connection to international terrorism for more than a decade. Given the horrifying terrorist attacks and continuing threats against America and Israel, JCRC’s efforts to expose the Chicago connection to these terrorist organizations are constantly intensifying and expanding. For more information on JCRC's Terrorism Awareness Project and its viewpoints, please view our policy statement (PDF).

Holy Land Foundation Trial

The trial against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) opened in a Dallas federal court on July 24, 2007.  The US Department of Justice accuses HLF and its leadership of conspiring to provide aid to a terrorist organization (Hamas) and the families of suicide terrorists.  The indictment states HLF provided more than $12.4 million to individuals and organizations with Hamas links between 1995 and 2001. 

The US Department of the Treasury froze HLF’s assets after the events of September 11th.  At that time it was the largest Muslim fundraising body in the US. 

HLF maintained offices in Chicago and is often referred as the Islamic Association for Palestine’s (IAP) sister organization.  IAP was shut down by the US government as well post September 11th and is known for its public relations in support of Hamas, holding the distinction as the first US organization to publish the Hamas charter in the US. 

HLF, for its part, is tied to infamous meetings that took place in Philadelphia in 1993.  Senior HLF, IAP and Hamas leaders met to discuss how to oppose the Oslo Accords underway between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  The FBI monitored these meetings.

The IRS reports that over 10% of HLF’s funding came from Musa Abu Marzook, Hamas’ Political Bureau Chief and co-defendant in the US government’s case against Chicago-area man, Mohammad Salah.  Marzook is a fugitive believed to be living in Syria.  He was is also connected to other Islamic organizations with terrorist links in Chicago. 

JCRC is following the HLF trial in Dallas and will update its website throughout with relevant news reports.

 News Update

Muhammad Salah Trial

The criminal trial against a Chicago-area man, Muhammad Salah, and two others charged with supporting the terrorist organization, Hamas, concluded February 1, 2007.  Salah was convicted of obstruction of justice for providing false answers to questions regarding his involvement with Hamas in a civil suit filed by parents of a U.S. teenager, David Boim, who was shot and killed by Hamas at an Israeli bus stop. His co-defendant, Abdelhaleem Hasan Ashqar of Virginia, was convicted of obstruction of justice and criminal contempt for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury after receiving immunity from prosecution for anything he might have revealed.  The men were acquitted on racketeering (RICO) charges. On July 11, 2007 Salah was sentenced to 21 months in jail and fined $25,000. Ashqar is due to be sentenced on July 13th.

JUF's Jewish Community Relations Council closely monitored the case and attended court throughout the trial.

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Additional Resources

In 1996, Illinois became the first state to enact legislation that criminalizes fund raising activities that support terrorist activity in foreign countries. Contact JCRC’s Terrorism Awareness Project to order a copy of Confronting International Terrorism at the Local Level: The Illinois Model. This publication details Hamas' Chicago connections and sheds light on the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). IAP is headquartered in Chicago and has reported links to Hamas.