Convicted Palestinian terrorist loses appeal for US immigration retrial
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Convicted Palestinian terrorist loses appeal for US immigration retrial

Rasmieh Odeh hid her role in bombings that killed 2 Israelis, faces likely deportation at sentencing next month

In this Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, file photo, Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 67, of Chicago is interviewed outside federal court in Detroit, after the Palestinian immigrant was found guilty of immigration fraud for failing to disclose her conviction and imprisonment in a Jerusalem supermarket bombing that killed two people. (AP/Carlos Osorio)
In this Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, file photo, Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 67, of Chicago is interviewed outside federal court in Detroit, after the Palestinian immigrant was found guilty of immigration fraud for failing to disclose her conviction and imprisonment in a Jerusalem supermarket bombing that killed two people. (AP/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT — A federal judge in Detroit has denied a request for a new trial for a Palestinian woman convicted of lying about her role in two terrorist bombing deaths in Israel when she immigrated to the US.

Judge Gershwin Drain ruled last week that Rasmieh Odeh’s argument for a new trial lacked legal merit.

In his ruling, Drain said evidence showed the Palestinian native illegally obtained US citizenship by failing to disclose her conviction for the fatal 1969 bombings in Jerusalem.

Israel imprisoned Odeh for life for her role in the bombings, including one that killed Hebrew University students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner at a grocery store. Odeh, 67, said Israeli authorities tortured her into confessing.

Israel released Odeh in 1979 in a prisoner exchange with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the group behind the bombings. Odeh entered the US in 1995 and applied for citizenship in Detroit in 2004.

Until her arrest, Odeh ran daily operations at the Arab American Action Network in Chicago. She now spells her first name Rasmea. She faces likely deportation at her sentencing, scheduled for March 12.

Odeh supporter Hatem Abudayyeh condemned the judge’s rulings and the case as a whole.

“Since both defense motions challenged how Drain conducted the trial, it came as no surprise,” Hatem Abudayyeh of the Rasmea Defense Committee said in a statement. “We know that the conviction was a travesty of justice, and that Judge Drain’s rulings made it impossible for the jury to give Rasmea a fair shake.”

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