Islamic charity and jihad on trial in Massachusetts

Another jihadist misuse or play on the word CARE.

The jury in the case of three officers of a defunct Muslim charity listened yesterday to wiretaps in U.S. District Court in which two of the defendants spoke to two men who subsequently were convicted with Jose Padilla on terrorism conspiracy charges.

However, when jury members heard Emadeddin Z. Muntasser and Samir Al-Monla, successive presidents of Care International from 1993 through 1998, talk to Kifah Jayoussi and Adham Hassoun, they were not told that Mr. Jayoussi and Mr. Hassoun are awaiting sentencing in federal court in Miami after having been convicted in August with Mr. Padilla. Mr. Jayoussi and Mr. Hassoun and Mr. Padilla were charged with belonging to a North American terrorism support cell that provided money, recruits and supplies to Islamic extremists around the world.

The jury has been told that Al-Kifah Refugee Center, from which the government alleges Care International sprang, has been tied in news reports to the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. But Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV has not allowed references to the 9-11 attacks on the United States or terrorism to be mentioned in the 18-day-old trial of the three Care International officials, who are charged with defrauding the United States by not mentioning support for jihad and mujahedin and thereby preserving their tax-exempt status.

About three dozen wiretaps going back to November 1994 and authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act were introduced to the jury. In an Aug. 3, 1998, intercept, Mr. Jayoussi spoke to Mr. Al-Monla about raising money for the wife of a man serving a life sentence.

Mr. Jayoussi told Mr. Al-Monla that Mahmoud Abu Halima had been chairman of a defense committee for the man charged with murdering Jewish militant Rabbi Meir Kahane on Nov. 5, 1990, and who “joined the group of the skyscraper in N.Y.” — presumably meaning the World Trade Center bombing five years earlier.

Mr. Al-Monla offered $1,000, but told Mr. Jayoussi “to send me a letter saying that this is a request to help a family or some poor people or something like that.” With Care International incorporated to sponsor widows and orphans affected by overseas wars, Mr. Al-Monla cautioned Mr. Jayoussi not to mention any names in the request for money.

Because sending a letter saying “let’s blow stuff up” would be a little too direct.