Washington, Sep 4 (ANI): Egyptian-born businessman Hisham Elzanaty, who is a key financial backer of the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero, has been accused of contributing to a US-designated terror group.
Elzanaty has made a significant investment in the Ground Zero mosque project, and also contributed more than 6,000 dollars in 1999 to the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, also known as HLF, MyFoxNY.com reports.
The donations to HLF came two years before the federal government shut down the organization and designated it a terror group.
At the time, it was the largest Islamic charity in the US. It raised millions of dollars from Americans in the 1990s, telling donors the money would fund schools, orphanages and social welfare programs, FOX News reports.
Elzanaty's attorney said that his client believed at the time that he was donating to an orphanage.
Federal investigators say the group was set up as a Texas-based charity, but in fact supported Hamas.
Many other donors to the foundation gave thinking their donations would fund humanitarian programs.
Five HLF leaders were convicted in 2008 of providing support to Hamas. (ANI)