FBI agent testifies a 2nd day (August 21, 2007)

Some jurors had their palms under their chins while others squinted intensely as they leaned forward to see a large poster displaying a list of Holy Land Foundation speakers that the government said were affiliated with Hamas. During much of the morning of Tuesday, August 21, 2007, the jury looked at prosecutor Nathan Garrett post round neon stickers next to many of the speakers’ names as he attempted to link them to Hamas.

Garrett — a Brad Pitt look-alike — had the wit and speed of the actor. But unlike the star, Garrett spoke with an impassionate, robot-like voice. Garrett continued the direct examination of FBI agent Robert Miranda. With his rosy cheeks, lime green tie and obnoxious persona, Miranda began by discussing a tapped phone conversation between defendant Shukri Abu-Baker and a Dallas Morning News reporter. We have never raised money for Hamas, the transcript read. Miranda’s goal for the day was to prove that Abu-Baker’s statement is not consistent with the evidence the FBI found.

The HLF’s list of speakers included known Hamas members, Hamas allies and individuals found in Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook’s phone book to determine who his associates were, Miranda said. He then read a sermon of one of HLF’s overseas speakers whose speech was broadcasted in the United States. Oh Lord, bring down a storm over the Jews. Hamas is the one who raised the heads of Muslims. Oh God, sympathize with Hamas. Then for nearly an hour, Garrett displayed several plane tickets that some of the defendants bought for Hamas activists before 1995.

Next, Miranda listed out the family relationships that most defendants had with Hamas:

Shukri Abu-Baker: His brother is Hamas member Jamal Isa. His real last name is Abu-Baker, but his Hamas last name is Isa, Miranda said. Garrett then played a couple tapped phone conversations between Abu-Baker and his brother, where they spoke about several topics including Israel’s assassination attempt of Khalid Mishal and Jordan’s deportation of Hamas members.

Mufid Abdulqader: His half-brother is Hamas leader Khalid Mishal. When Abdulqader was asked about Mishal during an FBI interview in 2002, Abdulqader began “sweating profusely,” Miranda said. Abdulqader’s sister, Mufida, is married to the son of Hamas leader Mohammad Siam. Mohammad Siam’s daughter, Raeda Siam, was married to Islam Siam, an HLF employee.

Mohammad El-Mezain: His far relative is Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook.

Ghassan Elashi: His second cousin — Nadia Elashi — is married to Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook.

Garrett then discussed a “security manual” that the FBI seized from Infocom, a family business run by Elashi and his brothers. Miranda then read aloud some of the guidelines listed in the document, which included the following: Avoid having meetings at homes that are being watched. Avoid talking about meetings on the phone. Limit the use of computers to certain individuals. Exposed individuals should not contact non-exposed individuals. Don’t use credit cards during travel. Miranda concluded the day by telling the jury a couple examples that showed the HLF following some of guidelines in the security manual.

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