US prosecutors wrap up alleged Hamas funding case

Federal prosecutors wrapped up their case against two men accused of aiding Hamas, saying the men furnished funds and fresh recruits to spread "death, destruction, fear and terror." Former Chicago grocer Muhammad Salah and co-defendant Abdelhaleem Ashqar were "important players" with the Hamas terrorist network, Assistant US Attorney Joseph M. Ferguson told a federal court jury in closing arguments capping a three-month trial that included testimony by torture experts and Israeli agents adopting assumed identities. "The Hamas organization engaged in a purposeful and strategic campaign to spread death, destruction, fear and terror in pursuit of its overall objective to remove the State of Israel from the map," Ferguson said. Salah, 53, and Ashqar, 48, a former assistant professor of business at Washington's Howard University, are charged with a racketeering scheme that provided money and men to the Hamas organization in the early 1990s.