EMET Applauds the U.S. Justice Department for Filing Criminal Charges Against Palestinian Terrorist Ahlam Tamimi
The Justice Department also Seeks Extradition of the Terrorist from Jordan
(March 15, 2017, Washington, DC) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) praised the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to publicly charge Palestinian terrorist Ahlam Tamimi. Ahlam Tamimi planned and implemented a bombing that killed and injured American citizens in a Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem in 2001. This is the first and necessary step in achieving justice for the American victims of her terrorism.
On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, the DOJ’s criminal complaint was unsealed, charging Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, also known as “Khalti” and “Halati,” a Jordanian national in her mid-30s, with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals outside the U.S., resulting in death. Also unsealed was a warrant for Al-Tamimi’s arrest and an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint and arrest warrant. The DOJ charge is related to Tamimi’s planning and implementing of a suicide bombing at a Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem on Aug. 9, 2001, that killed 15 people. Approximately 122 others were injured in the attack. Among the American victims of this terrorist act: Judith Greenbaum, a pregnant woman, and Malka Roth, a fifteen year old child, both of whom were killed. Four Americans, David Danzig, Matthew Gordon, Joanne Nachenberg, and Sara Nachenberg, were injured. Joanne Nachenberg has been in a continuous vegetative state since the bombing.
Tamimi has also been well-rewarded for her terrorism. In late 2011, Tamimi was released from prison by Israel as part of the trade of over one thousand Palestinian terrorists for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was being held by Hamas. She was given monetary rewards by both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas. She then moved to Jordan, where Tamimi is now hosting her own television show for Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds TV station. She also periodically appears on Arab television to incite more terrorism.
Ahlam Tamimi has been unrepentant about her actions. In numerous recordings, she has voiced her pleasure regarding the number of Jewish children killed by her terrorism. Many of these recordings may be found on YouTube, such as here and here.
Tamimi is only one of the more notorious Palestinian terrorists that are glorified by the PA as heroes and treated as employees of the PA government. While in prison, these terrorists and their families are paid salaries and receive benefits as rewards for their service.
There are a large number of Americans who have been harmed by Palestinian terrorists. 141 American citizens have been killed, and 196 wounded, by Palestinian terrorists in Israel or Judea or Samaria since 1968. Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, when the PA agreed to fight terrorism, 69 innocent Americans, plus two unborn children, have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists in Israel or the disputed territories. Since 1991, thanks to the Anti-terrorism Act, the DOJ has had the legal tools to prosecute Palestinian terrorists who have killed or wounded Americans.
For well over two decades, EMET has been fighting for justice for those Americans victims of Palestinian terrorism in Israel and the disputed territories. EMET focused on the unwillingness of the DOJ to indict, extradite, and prosecute a single Palestinian terrorist with American blood on his/her hands. Since 2005, there has been an office within the DOJ – the Office of Justice of Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OVT) – to pressure the DOJ to prosecute. EMET’s Sarah Stern was instrumental in the initial creation of the OVT. This DOJ unit is meant to monitor acts of terrorism against Americans outside the U.S., to assist the living victims and their families, and, most importantly, to pressure the DOJ to bring to justice those terrorists who have harmed Americans anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, until today, neither the DOJ nor the OVT had helped produce a single DOJ prosecution of Palestinian terrorists who have harmed Americans in Israel or Judea or Samaria. Further, neither the OVT, nor the DOJ, ever adequately explained their prior unwillingness to prosecute these Palestinian terrorists.
In the years since 2005, EMET has doggedly been working to make sure that any Palestinian terrorist who harms an American is brought to justice. EMET has held a staff briefing on Capitol Hill, bringing in American victims and family members. EMET has also met with more than 100 offices to explain to them this issue. EMET has worked with a bipartisan group of House members, and Senators, to produce numerous letters to the DOJ, demanding prosecutions of these terrorists, and also assisted in finding co-sponsors for these letters. On November 4, 2015, thanks in large part to EMET’s tireless efforts, a Senate Subcommittee led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) held an oversight hearing, primarily focusing on Iranian funded Palestinian terrorism and civil lawsuits. And EMET prompted another hearing by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), the Subcommittee Chairman for the National Security Subcommittee of Oversight and Government Reform, focusing on criminal prosecutions and the OVT. EMET originally brought this critical issue to the attention of Rep. DeSantis, and assisted the Subcommittee for the hearing. For the first time ever, a DOJ representative, Brad Wiegmann, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, who supervises the OVT and these prosecutions, was called to account for the DOJ’s lack of prosecution. He was also forced to agree to provide a report to the Subcommittee on DOJ/OVT progress.
EMET Founder and President, Sarah Stern, said, “I would like to applaud the Justice Department’s decision to charge Ahlam Tamimi for her despicable terrorism that killed and wounded so many, including American citizens. In Ahlam Tamimi’s case, this is not simply a matter of justice, although that is important enough. It is also a matter of America’s national security. Ms. Tamimi has a weekly Hamas sponsored television show that is broadcast via satellite, and can even be received in the United States, where she is treated as a hero, teaching youngsters how to emulate her dastardly ways, instruct youngsters on how to commit acts of terrorism.” She continued, “But this is only the first step in seeking justice for these victims of terrorism. The U.S. government needs to make sure Tamimi is delivered to the United States. She must be tried in a court of law and she should be sentenced to at least 15 life sentences, one for each of her victims she cut off in the prime of their lives. And she should never see daylight again.”
Ms. Stern added, “It is also important that both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas be brought to the understanding that there are serious consequences for their moral, political, and material support of terrorism. For far too long, people throughout the world have been fooled by the PA’s double message when it comes to terrorism, one to their own people in Arabic, and another in English to foreign diplomats and journalists.”
About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.