The Corner

Ground Zero Mosque Donor Previously Gave to Hamas

One of the large concerns about the Ground Zero mosque has been who would provide the estimated $100 million needed to build the mosque.  Well, thanks to a Fox NY investigation, we now know one of the funders, Hisham Elzanaty, has previously funded Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. From their report:

One of the key players in Sharif El-Gamal’s Mosque near Ground Zero is Egyptian born businessman, Hisham Elzanaty. Fox 5 News has learned exclusively and confirmed with Mr. Elzanaty’s attorney that Elzanaty made a “significant investment” in the development of the mosque near Ground Zero. . . .

Fox 5 News has also learned that in 1999 Hisham Elzanaty sent money to an organization that would later be deemed by the U.S. government to be a terrorist group.

The organization was the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, also known as HLF. The now defunct group’s 1999 tax records show Elzanaty contributed more than $6,000 to HLF.

Two years later, in 2001, HLF was shut down by the federal government and designated as a global terrorist. After a mistrial in 2007, in 2008 five HLF leaders were convicted of providing material support to Hamas.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) is a non-profit research group that focuses on radical Islamic terrorist groups. The research group shared its information on HLF with Fox 5 News and IPT’s Managing Director, Ray Locker tells us HLF, “masked what their true purpose was, they funneled money to Hamas which used that money to conduct terrorist operations. In many cases they gave that money to the widows and children of so-called martyrs. ”

Federal investigators say HLF was set up as the largest Muslim charity in the United States based in Richardson, Texas, but from its inception the group existed to support Hamas.

Mr. Elzanaty’s attorney tells Fox 5 News exclusively his client believed he was making contributions to an orphanage.

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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