Dallas-based Muslim charity accused of supporting terrorism

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DALLAS -- It's a trial that's been closely watched by the White House and Muslim Americans. Prosecutors accused a leading Muslim charity of supporting terrorism. As CBS' Gwen Belton reports after a two month trial and two weeks of deliberations, the jury failed to agree on most of the counts.

In a swirl of confusion, the judge declared a mistrial in the case of a Muslim charity accused of supporting terrorism.

After 19 days of deliberations, the jury acquitted one defendant of most charges but deadlocked on the others. Prosecutors expect a retrial.

The Holy Land Foundation called itself a legitimate organization dedicated to humanitarian needs, but the government accused it of funneling up to $12 million to Hamas, which has carried out some of the bloodiest attacks against Israel.

The U.S. has officially designated Hamas a terrorist organization, making all financial transactions with the group illegal.

The Dallas-based charity was closed in 2001 and agents grabbed hundreds of documents to bolster the prosecution. Right from the start, the white house has stayed close to the case.

Police have already seen angry protests over this trial.

The charity and its supporters insist holy land provided medical help and social services for Palestinian children and families. Its leaders say the case was pushed forward by Jewish groups.

Each of the five defendants faced up to 35 counts, including conspiracy and money laundering, a clear signal from the government that terrorism is about more than guns and bombs.

Gwen Belton, CBS News

Courtesy CBS Newspath

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