AKRON, Ohio – The Palestinian-born leader of Ohio's largest mosque was convicted Thursday of lying about his connections to terrorist organizations when he applied for U.S. citizenship.
He could be sentenced to up to five years in prison, stripped of his citizenship and deported for providing false information to become a citizen in 1994.
Prosecutors claimed that Damra, 41, concealed ties to Afghan Refugee Services (search), the Islamic Committee for Palestine and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, groups the government classifies as terrorist organizations.
Prosecutors showed video footage of Damra 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.
Jurors also were shown footage in which Damra called Jews "the sons of monkeys and pigs" during a 1991 speech and said "terrorism and terrorism alone is the path to liberation" in a 1989 speech.
Damra's lawyers did not call any witnesses. Attorney John Cline told jurors that Damra may have supported certain groups, but he did not consider himself a member or affiliate of them.