On Friday, 29-year-old Mohamad Hammoud was sentenced to 155 years in prison for leading a smuggling ring that supplied funds to the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah. Hammoud was also convicted of sending $3,500 directly to the terrorist group. He and his cousin were the first to be tried under a new federal law that makes no distinction between terrorists and those who fund them.
In an Associated Press report, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Bell noted that “terrorist acts cannot be carried out without the wherewithal of those who fund them.” When asked if the punishment fit the crime, Bell mused: “Is there a small contribution to a terrorist organization? I would say no.”
A sage observation, considering that the U.S. Department of Justice has yet to arrest anyone at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in connection with that group’s admitted 2001 donation of $1,500 to the terrorist Earth Liberation Front (ELF). The FBI puts ELF at the top of this nation’s domestic terrorism watch-list.