After intensive investigations and hair-splitting analysis of surveillances and HLF documents, the government could not prove its initial claim that the foundation gave money to Hamas.
There was not a single piece of evidence to show that HLF dealt with Hamas much less gave it money. The FBI found nothing to support the “politics” of the government that resulted in shutting down the largest and most elite American Muslim Charity.
It would have been a huge embarrassment for the government if it did not follow through with the public statements the President, the Attorney General and other key figures made about shutting down the main Hamas financier in the U.S.
As a result, on July 27, 2004 the FBI arrested five HLF principals and volunteers and charged them of basically providing Palestinian people with humanitarian assistance but through Zakat committees that were somehow linked to Hamas.
- Nothing in the indictment charges the defendants of providing money to Hamas, or providing money for arms, or engaging in violence.
- Nowhere in the indictment does it allege that any of the funds the Zakat committees received from HLF were misuses or funneled to support violent acts.
- None of the Zakat committees that are mentioned in the indictment are listed in any designated terrorist list by any Unites States agency.
- In fact, USAID (United States Agency for International Development) — legally an agency of the State Department — has continued providing funds to non-governmental organizations that are still doing business with some of the Zakat committees in the indictment as late as 2006.