(New York, N.Y.) – Last week, seven members of the U.S. Congress wrote to the Jordanian ambassador to the United States, Dina Kawar, asking the Hashemite Kingdom to extradite wanted Hamas terrorist Ahlam Ahmad al-Tamimi to the United States. Tamimi is wanted by the FBI for coordinating and aiding the August 2001 Hamas suicide bombing of a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem that wounded 130 people and killed 15, including two Americans. Tamimi has lived freely in Jordan since 2011 while fighting against the U.S. extradition request.
Under federal law, the U.S. maintains the right and responsibility to try suspected terrorists accused of having maimed or killed U.S. citizens abroad and to impose punishment within the United States. Jordanian courts have ruled that the country’s 1995 extradition treaty with the U.S. is invalid because it was never ratified by parliament. However, the representatives noted in their joint letter that Jordan had extradited fugitives to the U.S. in the past. They also drew attention to the passage of sanctions legislation in December 2019 that would punish countries that refuse legitimate extradition requests of somebody indicted for a criminal offense that carries a life sentence.
Tamimi was the first female member of the Hamas Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and is one of the FBI’s most wanted female terrorists. In 2003, Tamimi was sentenced to 16 life sentences in Israel for directly aiding the August 9, 2001, Hamas suicide bombing. In 2011, she was released by Israel and deported to Jordan as part of a prisoner swap agreement with Hamas for captured IDF officer Gilad Shalit. Tamimi has continued to publicly praise Hamas, and for four years, she hosted a show on a Hamas television network. The United States filed criminal charges against her in 2013. Jordanian authorities briefly detained her in 2016 but soon after released her. The United States has sought her extradition since 2017.
To read CEP’s Ahlam Ahmad al-Tamimi resource, please click here.
To read CEP’s Hamas resource, please click here.
To read CEP’s Jordan resource, please click here.