Mark Graham for The New York Times
U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis on Thursday OKed prosecutors showing jurors damaging videotaped advertisements and other evidence apparently showing that the Holy Land Foundation used Sheikh Abdullah Azzam to solicit donations.
Defense attorneys earlier this week had argued in a hearing that the videos were overly prejudicial and just an excuse for the government to get Osama bin Laden, who cites Azzam as a mentor, into the terrorism financing trial.
Thursday’s videos, made about 1988, show a scowling Azzam calling for martyrdom against the Israeli occupation and urges Palestinians to contribute to the jihad with their money as well as their lives.
At one point, the words “Occupied Land Fund,” Holy Land’s original name, flash across the screen, along with an address where people can send donations.
The government on Thursday also played a portion of a 1990 Los Angeles-area fundraising conference showing defendant Mohammad El-Mezain asking a crowd to honor the martyred Azzam, who was killed in Pakistan the year before.
Jurors also saw a tape Thursday depicting yet another fundraising skit featuring Adulqader playing a Hamas militant pretending to “kill” a “Zionist.”This time, he strangles the faux Israeli (he pretended to shoot him in another skit).
Abdulqader, donning in a headscarf, finishes both skits by singing, “I am Hamas, o dear ones.”
Most of the videos shown in the case were unearthed from the Virginia backyard of unindicted co-conspirator Fawaz Mushtaha.He was an Al Sakhra bandmember and appears on most of the tapes wtih Abdulqader.