Jewish Groups Urge U.S. to Step Up Pressure on Jordan to Extradite Suicide Bomber

Ahlam al-Tamimi helped carry out a 2001 suicide bombing that killed 15, and left to Jordan after being released from Israeli prison in a 2011 Israel-Hamas prisoner swap

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The scene of the 2001 suicide bombing in which Ahlam al-Tamimi took part, and killed 15 people, Jerusalem, August 9, 2001.
The scene of the 2001 suicide bombing in which Ahlam al-Tamimi took part, and killed 15 people, Jerusalem, August 9, 2001.Credit: Eyal Warshavsky

A coalition of Jewish American groups has called on the U.S. government to press Jordan to extradite a Palestinian woman who helped carry out a 2001 suicide bombing that killed 15 people, including two Americans, in Jerusalem.

A joint statement signed by 18 groups aims to step up the pressure on Jordan, a key American ally, to send Ahlam al-Tamimi to the United States for trial.

The statement urges the United States to “bring all pressure to bear,” including possible cuts in American financial aid, to press Jordan into honoring an extradition agreement.

Monday's statement was signed by a mix of right-wing and centrist groups. Among them are several major mainstream Jewish groups, including the Jewish Federations of North America, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and B'nai B'rith, as well as the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC.

Al-Tamimi is wanted by the United States on a charge of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against American nationals.

Jordan has rebuffed previous efforts to extradite her, citing double jeopardy considerations, but the Trump administration said recently it would consider withholding assistance as leverage. Jordanian officials have not commented publicly about the matter.

Al-Tamimi was arrested in the West Bank by Israel weeks after the bombing and sentenced to 16 life prison terms but released in a 2011 Israel-Hamas prisoner swap and moved to Jordan. She has made frequent media appearances, expressing no remorse for the attack and saying she was pleased with the high death toll.

Among the victims of the attack was Malka Roth, a 15-year-old Israeli American girl whose father, Arnold Roth, has led a campaign seeking al-Tamimi's extradition.

"It’s time that Jordan’s disregard for its legal, diplomatic and moral obligations to hand Tamimi over to U.S. justice was brought to an end,” Roth said.

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