Jordan’s highest court upheld a decision to deny a US request to extradite a woman convicted as an accomplice in a 2001 suicide bombing in Jerusalem, which killed 15 people including two Americans.
Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi won’t be handed over to US authorities because a 1995 extradition agreement between the two countries was never ratified by the Jordanian parliament, the court ruled, according to Jordan’s Petra news agency.
The ruling had been previously issued by an appeals court in October.
Al-Tamimi was blacklisted by the United States in March and charged with “conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against US nationals outside the US, resulting in death.” She was placed on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list.
The US Justice Department said Tamimi, now in her mid-30s, escorted a Hamas suicide bomber on August 9, 2001 to Jerusalem, where he detonated a bomb hidden inside a guitar in a crowded Sbarro pizza shop in central Jerusalem. According to the indictment, she showed the bomber where to detonate the device and how to do so.
The bomb killed 15, including US citizens Shoshana Greenbaum and Malka Roth, and wounded another 122, including four Americans.
In 2003, she pleaded guilty in an Israeli court to multiple counts of murder and was sentenced to 16 terms of 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.
— FBI Most Wanted (@FBIMostWanted) March 14, 2017
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.
Jordanian law forbids the extradition of its nationals.
Jacob Magid and JTA contributed to this report.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the year the US and Jordan signed an extradition treaty.