One of the first items presented to the jury on Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008 was a clip of a speech by Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian spiritual leader who fought alongside Afghanistanis against the Soviets during the late 1970s. In the 1987/1988 video, Hamas leader Azzam proclaimed passionately in Arabic, It is a duty for all Muslims to do jihad with their souls and money … I pray for the paralyzed man, a man who moves a generation, Ahmad Yasin … Oh children of Palestine, the opportunity to train you with weapons is open How does this relate to the Holy Land Foundation (HLF)? The video features a flashing request to send donations to the Occupied Land Fund (the original name of the HLF.)
The jury’s faces seemed emotionless much of Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008 as they watched numerous Palestinian patriotic videos of events that took place in the U.S. more than 15 years ago. Many jurors cracked small smiles, however, when U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis told them they were leaving at lunch. Reason: The witness on the stand, FBI agent Lara Burns, was sick.
Jurors leaned towards the screens in front of them to read Arabic translations much of Monday, Sept. 29, 2008 as the second week of the Holy Land Foundation retrial kicked off.
Moments before the jury entered the courtroom on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008, prosecutor Jim Jacks announced he would no longer ask government witness and FBI linguist Atef Shafik about his opinionthat could have suggested that the defendants were Islamists.
All Muslims are terrorists—that’s what prosecutors and a witness insinuated Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008 during the third day of the Holy Land Foundation retrial after the jury left for the day. It quickly became more apparent than ever before that the five defendants are being targeted for the religion they follow.