FEBRUARY 16, 2006
Federal prosecutors involved in the government’s signature domestic terrorism case against a Muslim charity, mistakenly gave highly classified intelligence materials to the terrorists’ defense attorneys.
Arguing for the return of the sensitive counter-terrorism information, government officials wrote that “its disclosure and dissemination could have profound national security and foreign policy implications.”
The case involves the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, once the nation’s largest Muslim charity and a front for the militant wing of Hamas. After a lengthy investigation, the Treasury Department froze the so-called charity’s assets in December, 2001 and the Justice Department won indictments against seven Holy Land officials.
The government’s case relies heavily on secret surveillance, anonymous FBI informants and foreign intelligence. Evidence includes thousands of hours of wiretaps and more than one million pages of classified documents (Orlando Sentinel).
Ironically, the government spends millions of dollars annually to withhold information that should be made public under the Freedom of Information Act. That is precisely why the Texas Lone Star Times sarcastically asks how exactly did Hamas’ lawyers get 14 volumes of sensitive classified intelligence handed to them?
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