A win for the OH crew
Judge won't overturn imam's conviction
CLEVELAND - A federal judge has rejected a defense request to overturn the
conviction of an Islamic cleric on charges of concealing ties to alleged
terrorist groups on his U.S. citizenship application in 1994.
U.S. District Court Judge James Gwin, who presided at the trial of Imam
Fawaz Damra, said Monday in a 31-page ruling that a jury could reasonably
conclude from the evidence that Damra had misrepresented his past on his
The judge also rejected a defense request for a new trial.
Damra, the Palestinian-born leader of the Islamic Center of Cleveland,
Ohio's largest mosque, faces up to five years in prison at his sentencing
Sept. 20. He also could face deportation.
The government said that when Damra applied for citizenship, he concealed
ties to Afghan Refugee Services, the Islamic Committee for Palestine and
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, groups the U.S. government classifies as
Prosecutors showed video footage of Damra and other Islamic leaders raising
money for an arm of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has been listed as
a major terrorist group by the State Department since 1989.
The defense said Damra may have supported certain groups, but he did not
consider himself a member or affiliate of them.
Damra could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Messages seeking comment
were left at his mosque office and the Albuquerque, N.M., office of one of
his attorneys, Nancy Hollander.
Worry not my daughters, worry not my sons