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Ex-Palestinian terrorist granted retrial in US immigration case

Rasmieh Odeh was convicted of failing to disclose her conviction for 2 bombings in Israel when she sought American citizenship

Rasmieh Odeh stands with supporters outside the federal courthouse in Detroit, November 4, 2014. (AP/Ed White)
Rasmieh Odeh stands with supporters outside the federal courthouse in Detroit, November 4, 2014. (AP/Ed White)

A judge in Detroit has ordered 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.

Rasmea Odeh will be allowed to show that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder when she was interviewed in Detroit during the citizenship process in 2004. Federal Judge Gershwin Drain didn’t allow the evidence during Odeh’s trial.

Odeh helps run Chicago’s Arab American Action Network. In 2004, she answered “no” on her citizenship application when asked about past convictions.

During her trial, Odeh said she believed the questions were about US crimes.

In 2014, a federal court in Detroit convicted Odeh of lying to get US citizenship and sentenced her to 18 months in prison. She’s been free during her appeal.

Odeh was convicted of two bombings in Jerusalem in 1969 for her role in the bombings, including one that killed Hebrew University students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner at a grocery store, and imprisoned for life. Odeh, 68, says 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.

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