NDExpert: Law school's Gurulé speaks on terrorism financing convictions

Author: Michael O. Garvey


This week’s federal court conviction of a Muslim charity and five of its former leaders for funneling money to the Palestinian Hamas organization was a significant success for the justice department, but much more needs to be done, according to Jimmy Gurul, professor of law in the University of Notre Dame Law School.

The Texas-based Muslim charity, called the Holy Land Foundation, was convicted of funneling more than $12 million to Hamas, an organization designated as"terrorist"by the U.S. government.

“In December 2001, when I served as under secretary for enforcement in the U.S. Treasury Department, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was added to the department’s list of ‘specially designated global terrorists’ for raising and funneling more than $12 million to finance Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization designated by the State Department,”Gurulsaid.

According to Gurul,"While thejury verdict convicting five senior members of the Holy Land Foundation is an important victory for the U.S. Department of Justice, it represents the only major terrorist financing conviction in the seven years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“The guilty verdict stands in stark contrast from the jury verdict in the first trial that ended in a mistrial or acquittal on all criminal counts, and two other high-profile terrorist financing trials in Chicago and Florida that ended without convictions on the major charges.For federal prosecutors, the verdict against the Holy Land Foundation was a long-sought victory.”

Gurulsaid that the Justice Department"has learned from its prior mistakes, streamlining its case by dismissing as many as 60 criminal charges from the original indictment,“and added that now”federal prosecutors must aggressively, but intelligently, pursue similar investigations.Terrorist sympathizers cannot be permitted to raise money on U.S. soil to finance terrorist attacks against innocent civilians."

Gurulis an international expert in complex criminal litigation, anti-money laundering, criminal and scientific evidence, organized crime, and international criminal law. As undersecretary of Treasury following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he led successful U.S. efforts to block more than $125 million in assets belonging to suspected terrorist financiers. In addition to serving in the Treasury Department, he was an assistant attorney general from 1990 to 1992 in the Department of Justice.

_ Contact: Professor Gurulat 574-631-5917 or_ " gurule.1@nd.edu ":mailto:gurule.1@nd.edu

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