Jordan rejects US demand to extradite woman convicted in Jerusalem bombing
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Jordan rejects US demand to extradite woman convicted in Jerusalem bombing

Ahlam Tamimi was an accomplice in the 2001 Sbarro suicide attack; State Department wants to try her over death of 2 Americans in the blast

Israeli soldiers checking for explosives at the site of a Palestinian suicide bombing that killed 15 people in Jerusalem, Aug. 9, 2001. (Courtney Kealy/Getty Images/JTA)
Israeli soldiers checking for explosives at the site of a Palestinian suicide bombing that killed 15 people in Jerusalem, Aug. 9, 2001. (Courtney Kealy/Getty Images/JTA)

Jordan rejected on Thursday morning a US demand for the extradition of a Palestinian woman convicted as an accomplice in the 2001 Jerusalem Sbarro suicide bombing, which killed 15 people including two Americans, Shoshana Greenbaum and Malka Roth.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department unsealed the charge against Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, who is in her mid-30s and and also is known as Khalti and Halati, for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against American citizens. The charge had been sealed since July 2013.

The bombing also left 122 injured, including four Americans.

In 2003, she pleaded guilty in an Israeli court to multiple counts of murder and was sentenced to life in prison, but was released and returned to Jordan in 2011 as part of the deal to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, for whom Israel exchanged 1,027 prisoners.

Jordanian law forbids the extradition of its nationals.

According to the US affidavit, Al-Tamimi traveled with the suicide bomber, led the bomber to a crowded area and provided instructions on how to detonate the weapon. She had agreed to carry out attacks on behalf of Hamas’ military wing, the affidavit said.

The FBI said it had placed Al-Tamimi on its Most Wanted Terrorist List.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary McCord called Al-Tamimi “an unrepentant terrorist who admitted to her role in a deadly terrorist bombing that injured and killed numerous innocent victims.

“The charges unsealed today serve as a reminder that when terrorists target Americans anywhere in the world, we will never forget — and we will continue to seek to ensure that they are held accountable,” McCord said in the statement.

US Attorney Channing Phillips for the District of Columbia said the US had not forgotten the victims of the 2001 bombing.

“We will continue to remain vigilant until Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi is brought to justice,” Phillips said.

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