Here's a story that's worrisome on the surface. An immigration judge, Alberto Riefkohl, sided against the government, who sought the deportation of a prominent New Jersey Imam they claim is linked to Hamas. In other cases handled by this judge regarding asylums, Riefkohl is one of the more liberal judges in granting nearly 60% asylum versus more conservative judges who had 20% or less approval rates.
While I don't have access to the documents that were used in the case, this judge is basically calling Homeland Security incompetent or liars.
If DHS is sure about the conviction of Mohammad Ahmad Hasan Qatanani as an Hamas member, they should definitely appeal the judge's ruling, unless, they know they would be heard before another liberal judge.
It has been my experience in the study of the Islamist infiltration in our country, that it is always Israel's or America's fault and they, meaning some Muslims, work overly hard to present themselves as the innocent victims. This appears to be the standard by which they operate. Clearly, prosecutors and judges have a duty, for the security of our country, to dig deep to get to the truth.
The prosecution was able to get Qatanani to acknowledge his former brother-in-law, Mahmoud Abu Hanoud, was a top Hamas military leader in the West Bank before being killed by Israeli military forces. Qatanani responded he met him on only one occasion, in an earlier articleabout the trial. But, the Imam denies he was ever a member of Hamas.
Update 11/19/09: The government got a new try at deporting Qatanani after appealing the judge's ruling. The Immigration Appeals Board said he needs to prove he did not have links to Hamas.