127 F.Supp.2d 1002 (N.D.Ill. 2001), 00 C 2905, Boim v. Quranic Literacy Institute
|Docket Nº:||00 C 2905|
|Citation:||127 F.Supp.2d 1002|
|Party Name:||Boim v. Quranic Literacy Institute|
|Case Date:||January 10, 2001|
|Court:||United States District Courts, 7th Circuit, Northern District of Illinois|
Shelly Byron Kulwin, Kulwin & Associates, Chicago, IL, Sally H. Saltzberg, Loftus & Saltzberg, P.C., Chicago, IL, Nathan Lewin, Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, LLP, Washington, DC, for plaintiffs.
William H. Theis, Winnetka, IL, for Quranic Literacy Institute.
Reuben L. Hedlund, Dean M. Trafelet, Stephen Y. Ma, Hedlund Hanley and Trafelet, Chicago, IL, Ruth A. Wagoner, Glast, Phillips and Murray, P.C., Dallas, TX, for Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, defendant.
Michael Edward Deutsch, People's Law Office, Chicago, IL, James Russell Fennerty, James R. Fennerty & Associates, Chicago, IL, for Islamic Ass'n, American Muslim Society, American Middle Eastern league, defendants.
Ashraf Nubani, Becker, Hicks, Orvinh and Hadeed, Springfield, VA, for United Ass'n for Studies and Research, defendant.
Matthew J. Piers, Mary M. Rowland, Jonathan A. Rothstein, Gessler, Hughes & Socol, Ltd., Chicago, IL, for Mohammed Mohammed Abdul Hamid Khalol Salah, defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AN ORDER
LINDBERG, District Judge.
Plaintiffs Stanley and Joyce Boim, American citizens living in Jerusalem, bring this action for injuries arising from the murder of their seventeen-year-old son, David Boim, by Hamas terrorists. The plaintiffs bring this action pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2333 against the Hamas terrorist agents who killed their son as well as against various organizations and individuals that plaintiffs allege solicited, financed, and provided material support for the attack. All but one of the defendants that have been served in the case have filed motions to dismiss, which the court addresses below.
Jurisdiction and Venue
This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action under 18 U.S.C.§§ 2333(a) and 2338, which authorize a private damages action in any appropriate United States District Court by a United States national who has been injured "in his person, property or business by reason of an act of international terrorism." Subject-matter jurisdiction is also conferred
Statement of Facts
The following statement of facts is based on the allegations contained in plaintiffs' complaint. Stanley and Joyce Boim are the parents of the decedent, David Boim. Both are U.S. nationals and were legal residents of the State of New York at the time of their son's death. The Boims were living in Jerusalem at the time of their son's death.
David Boim was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 27, 1979, and was, at the time of his death, a citizen of both the United States and Israel. In 1996, David was studying at a yeshiva in Israel. On May 13, 1996, David was waiting with other students at a bus stop near Beit El in the West Bank when he was struck by gunshot fired from a passing car. His two attackers were Hamas terrorists who first opened fire on a civilian bus and injured two passengers on the bus. They then traveled a few hundred yards and fired on David and the other students at the bus stop. One student, Yair Greenbaum, was wounded in the chest. David was shot in the head and was pronounced dead within an hour. The terrorists then sped away from the scene and lost control of their car, which crashed. They fled on foot towards Jalazun, in territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
The two operatives who carried out the shooting were Amjad Hinawi and Khalil Tawfiq Al-Sharif. Both were apprehended and temporarily imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority in early 1997. After his release, Al-Sharif joined two other Hamas suicide bombers in a suicide bombing on September 4, 1997, on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem. Five civilians were killed in that attack, and 192 persons were wounded.
Defendant Amjad Hinawi ("Hinawi") is a Hamas terrorist operating in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Hinawi is one of two Hamas agents who carried out the attack on David Boim. He was convicted of participating in David Boim's murder by a Palestinian Authority court and sentenced to ten years' imprisonment on February 17, 1998.
Defendant Khalil Tawfiq Al-Sharif ("Al-Sharif") was a Hamas terrorist operating in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Al-Sharif was one of the two Hamas agents who carried out the fatal attack on David Boim. Defendant Al-Sharif died on September 4, 1997, as a Hamas suicide bomber who carried a bomb that was exploded on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem. Five civilians were killed in that attack, and 192 persons were wounded.
Defendant Hinawi confessed to participating in the shooting of David Boim. He was tried in a court of the Palestinian Authority, where his confession was read in open court. He was convicted of participating in David Boim's murder. On February 17, 1998, Hinawi was sentenced to ten years in prison at hard labor.
In the same month, Hinawi was granted leave from prison for the Muslim holiday of Id Al-Fitr. He did not return to prison at the end of his leave and was missing for several months. According to public testimony
from Martin Indyk, presently U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Hinawi is now back in a Palestinian Authority prison. The Government of Israel requested Hinawi's transfer to Israeli authorities on September 22, 1997. The Palestinian Authority has not responded to that request.
Both Hinawi and Al-Sharif were known members of the military wing of Hamas. Hamas is an extremist Palestinian militant organization that seeks to establish a fundamentalist Palestinian state. It is organized into two branches: one military and one political. The military branch receives orders and material support from the political branch. Hamas' central purpose is to advance political objectives through acts of terrorism. According to plaintiffs, Hamas seeks to undermine the Middle East peace process through violent attacks against civilians. Its tactics include shootings and bombings to intimidate and kill civilians.
By Executive Order 12947, signed on January 23, 1995, and entered into the Federal Register on January 25, 1995, 2 President Clinton designated Hamas a "foreign terrorist organization," as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1189, that was threatening to disrupt the Middle East peace process.
Hamas' organizational presence is global. Terrorist operatives in Gaza and the West Bank receive their instructions, as well as the funds, weapons, and practical support they need to carry out their missions, from Hamas organizers throughout the world. Upon information and belief, Hamas currently has command and control centers in the United States, Britain, and several Western European countries. The leaders of these control centers coordinate fund-raising from sympathetic parties in these countries, they launder and channel money to Hamas operatives in the West Bank and Gaza, they arrange for the purchase of weapons and the recruitment and training of military personnel, and they work with local commanders in the West Bank and Gaza to plan terrorist attacks.
The organization's military wing depends on foreign contributions solicited by these overseas control centers. Approximately one-third of Hamas' multi-million dollar annual budget comes from fund-raising activity in North America and Western Europe. Hamas' other sources of funding include local contributions and support from several Middle Eastern governments.
Hamas' presence in the United States is significant but covert. It conducts its affairs through a network of front organizations that ostensibly have religious and charitable purposes. Upon information and belief, the organizational defendants in this case are Hamas' main fronts in the United States. These organizations' purportedly humanitarian functions mask their mission of raising and funneling money and other resources to Hamas operatives to support their terrorist campaigns. 3
Defendant Quranic Literacy Institute ("QLI") is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of Illinois with offices in Oak Lawn, Illinois. QLI translates and publishes sacred Islamic texts, but, upon information and belief, QLI was and is also engaged in raising and laundering money for Hamas.
Defendant Mohammed Abdul Hamid Khalil Salah ("Salah"), a/k/a Abu Ahmed, is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem and currently residing in Illinois. Salah is the admitted U.S.-based leader of the military branch of Hamas. Salah has been prosecuted for channeling money to Hamas and recruiting, organizing, and training terrorist operatives in Israel. He was incarcerated in Israel from January 1993 to November 1997, during which period he admitted channeling money for Hamas operations. He returned to the United States after his release. Salah is named on the list of Specifically Designated Terrorists compiled by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, and he was recently the subject of a major FBI investigation. Pursuant to that investigation, the United States initiated a civil forfeiture action to seize funds it alleged "were transferred to financial institutions within the United States from abroad with the intent to support...
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