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EMET expresses its strong support for H.R.7527 – Recognition of the 1995 Jordan Extradition Treaty with the U.S. Act and its gratitude to Rep. Gregory Steube (R-Fla.) and Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), for introducing the act. The bill restricts US aid to Jordan until the extradition treaty the two countries signed in 1995 is recognized.

The legislation specifically calls for the extradition from Jordan of Ahlam Tamimi, mastermind of the Sbarro Pizzeria bombing, who was responsible for one of the most heinous terrorist events to have ever taken place on Israeli soil.

On August 9, 2001, Ms. Tamimi dropped off the suicide bomber, Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri at the Sbarro Pizzeria, where he was carrying a guitar case filled with nails, nuts, bolts and explosives. The ensuing blast rocked the building and resulted in the death of 15 people, including two American citizens, Malki Roth, 15, and Judith Greenbaum, 31, who was pregnant at the time.

Tamimi was sentenced to 16 life terms in Israel, only to be released in a 2011 prisoner exchange, in which 1,027 terrorists were exchanged for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been abducted by Hamas.  Ms. Tamimi immediately fled to Jordan, where she was treated like a conquering hero, and showered with flowers. She has made a career of profiting from her despicable crime, and at one point even had her own Hamas-stationed television show, inspiring young women to follow in her path.

According to The Anti-Terrorism Act of 1991, 18 USC Sec. 2332(b), the US has the right and responsibility to prosecute anyone who murders or maims an American citizen abroad. However, no Palestinian terrorist who has murdered an American citizen in Israel proper or the West Bank has ever been delivered to our shores to stand justice.

The Department of Justice announced federal charges against Tamimi in March 2017, requested extradition and placed her on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorist List, but Interpol dropped her warrant in March 2021.

In April 2020, Rep. Steube also threatened to restrict aid to Jordan for the same reason and led a small group of representatives in a letter to Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar demanding Tamimi’s extradition, which EMET said in a statement at the time “reflect[ed] the deep concern of the Congress, the administration and the American people.”

Said EMET Founder and President Sarah Stern, “Jordan is one of the largest recipients of US funding, receiving more than $1,275,000,000 per year. Yet, despite their signing an extradition treaty with the United States in 1995, they have continuously avoided our demands for the extradition of Ahlam Tamimi, one of the most heinous terrorists on the planet. As long as we continue to subjugate the pure and rigorous pursuit of justice for the lives of American citizens to foreign policy objectives, we will be opening the door for further acts of terrorism around the globe. We cannot allow American citizens to be treated as pawns in some diplomatic chessboard. Let us hope that when King Abdullah visited President Biden last week, Biden demanded Ms. Tamimi’s immediate extradition.”

About the Author

Naomi Grant
Naomi Grant is the Director of Communications and Office Manager. Grant graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she double majored in Government & Politics and Spanish. She was an editor at The Diamondback, UMD’s independent student newspaper, and interned as a reporter at the Jerusalem Post and at the Cleveland Jewish News.

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