“Live with self-respect or die honorably”
Including new evidence indicating that the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was quite fond of citing Abdullah Azzam (1941–1989, pictured above), the mujahid/scholar mentor of Osama bin Laden who often boastfully referred to the prophet of Islam as “the first terrorist and first menace.” Wrote Azzam: “We are terrorists. Every Muslim must be a terrorist. Terrorism is an obligation as demonstrated in the Koran and sunna. Allah Most High said: “˜Muster against them [infidels] all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the heart of your enemy and Allah’s enemy” (8:60). Thus terrorism is a [religious] obligation. And the Messenger of Allah is the first terrorist and the first menace” (from Al-Hijra wa Al-I “dad). More on the HLF here and here.
“HLF Trial Update: ‘It is time for you to pledge death,'” from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, October 3:
DALLAS – From donations urging violence to advertisements and videos lauding one of the fathers of global jihad, evidence in the Hamas-support trial against former officials at the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) Thursday took a decidedly bloody tone.
The five defendants are accused of illegally funneling $12 million to Hamas through a series of charities, or zakat committees in the West Bank and Gaza. FBI agent Lara Burns has been on the witness stand all week, presenting evidence establishing the group’s stated and passionate support for Hamas.
A mistrial was declared last October after jurors could not reach unanimous verdicts on most counts. Defendant Mohamed El-Mezain was acquitted on all counts against him with the exception of a conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.
This time, added care seems to be taken to identify all the players and define their connections to the case. In addition, some of the exhibits were not entered into evidence last year.
Defense attorneys argue the men merely sought to alleviate suffering by needy Palestinians living under occupation. The images displayed Thursday rarely invoked those needy people, but focused instead on the need to attack.
Several exhibits showing HLF’s invocation Abdullah Azzam, an iconic Palestinian jihadist, are among the new evidence presented by the government. Azzam moved to Pakistan after the Russian invasion of Afghanistan to set up the Office of Services of the Holy Warriors (Mujahideen) and is considered a mentor to Osama bin Laden.
The Azzam exhibits were admitted over the objection of defense attorneys. Under the judge’s order, jurors were not told of Azzam’s role with bin Laden and the global jihad, but did hear references to Azzam’s work on behalf of Afghanistan’s mujahideen. In a video from a 1988 rally in California, the year HLF was founded as the Occupied Land Fund, Azzam is shown urging Palestinians to fight to the death:
“O, people of Palestine, it is time for you to pledge death.
Live with self-respect or die honorably between
piercing lances and fluttering flags. The heads
of the spears are stronger than treachery and are
a better healing to the cunning chest of the envious.
What is life? What is life if I don’t live it with honor and respect.”
Read it all.