Reuters, Feb. 21, 2003
— CHICAGO (Reuters) – A federal judge on Friday dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought against a number of news organizations by a U.S.-based Muslim charity that claimed it was wrongly portrayed as a supporter of terrorism.
U.S. District Court Judge David Coar granted a motion to dismiss the $800 million defamation suit filed in November, 2001 by Global Relief Foundation.
The suit claimed the Illinois-based charity, which has billed itself as the second-largest U.S. Islamic relief group, lost potential donors because of “false and outrageous” news stories saying its assets had been frozen and that it was suspected of funneling money to terrorists.
Named in the suit were The New York Times, the Associated Press, ABC News, the Boston Globe, the New York Daily News and the San Francisco Chronicle as well as a number of individuals.
Federal authorities have charged the charity has ties to al Qaeda operatives, and agents seized the charity’s assets and obtained a deportation order for the head of the charity.