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(Washington, D.C., May 4, 2020) Late last week, Congressman Greg Steube (Republican, Florida),  sent a letter to Ambassador Dina Kawar, Jordan, demanding the extradition of a known, HAMAS terrorist, Ahlam Tamimi. The letter was signed by Representative Paul Gosar (Republican, Arizona), Ted Yoho, (Republican, Florida), Doug Lamborn, (Republican, Colorado), Brian Mast, (Republican, Florida), Scott Perry, (Republican, Pennsylvania), and Louie Gohmert, (Republican, Texas).

Ms. Tamimi was the mastermind of the Sbarro Pizzeria bombing on August 9, 2001, which killed 15 people, including 8 children, and wounded 121 others. Among those killed were two American citizens, Malki Roth, (15), and Judith Greenbaum, (31), who was pregnant at the time. A third American, Chana Nachenberg, has remained in a permanent vegetative state ever since.

Ms. Tamimi openly takes credit for her part in selecting the site of the attack and has bragged about it multiple times.

In March of 2017, the United States asked for Tamimi’s extradition from Jordan to face a trial on our shores and to serve out her punishment on American soil. The Jordanian government has refused, claiming that the U.S. has no Extradition Treaty with Jordan. It is the position of the American government that we do have an Extradition Treaty with the Hashemite Kingdom, and that it was signed on March 28, 1995.

This, despite the fact that there are at least three other Jordanian citizens, that we know of, that the United States has requested extradition of: Eyad Ismoil, who has been sentenced to 240 years imprisonments in a maximum security penitentiary, Mohamad Zaki Amawi, sentenced to 20 years and Nada Saada, sentenced to 10 years.

The Jordanian government is the third largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, and receives $1.275 billion, annually.  In December of 2019, the U.S. government passed Public Law 116-94,  the most recent Appropriations Bill which states, in regard to foreign appropriations, “None of these funds, provided by  this Act may be used to  provide assistance to the central government of a country which has notified the Department of State of its refusal to extradite to the  United States any individual indicted for a criminal offense for which the maximum penalty is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, or for killing a law enforcement officer.”

According to the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1991, USC 18, section 232 (b), anytime an American is maimed or murdered overseas, the United States maintains the right and responsibility to try that suspect in American courts and have her serve out her punishment within the United States.

Ms. Tamimi was traded in October of 2011 for the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, as one of 1,027 terrorists with blood on their hands. When she was released to Jordan, she was welcomed like a conquering hero, showered with flowers and was even given her own weekly television show in Amman, by Hamas, where she became a role model for future Islamic terrorists.

EMET has had a very long history of advocating for justice for American victims of Palestinian terrorism.

Says EMET Founder and President, Sarah Stern, ”EMET deeply applauds representative Greg Steube, along with the six other members of the U.S. Congress, who have the long term vision and moral clarity to know that as long as the United States turns a blind eye to the murderers of American citizens, we will be reinforcing their resolve against the United States. Without people like Rep. Greg Steube and six other of his colleagues, we will be telegraphing a weak, flaccid message throughout the globe, of America resolve to stand up to the forces of radical Islamic terrorism, which will only invite more acts of terrorism against our citizens.”

About the Author

The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) is a Washington, D.C. based think tank and policy center with an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel stance. EMET (which means truth in Hebrew) prides itself on challenging the falsehoods and misrepresentations that abound in U.S. Middle East policy.

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