Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Ahlam Tamimi is the most wanted female terrorist in the world, with a US$ 5 million bounty for information that leads to her arrest of conviction. Above all, getting this beast arrested or convicted will certainly comfort the members of the victims of the ‘Sbarro attack’. This notorious woman should have already been convicted, should the Jordanian authorities, especially the Royals would not turn over-enthusiastic in saving Ahlam Tamimi from being extradited to the United States and face trials.
Back in November 2019 the White House in a statement rejected claims by its “Middle Eastern ally” Jordan stating that a Palestinian-Jordanian terrorist [Ahlam Tamimi] who was involved in the murder of the US citizens cannot be extradited to face trial in the United States.
Ahlam Tamimi is a Hamas terrorist who played a major role in organizing the ‘Sbarro attack’ in Jerusalem in August 2001, a suicide bombing that led to the deaths of 15 people, including two American citizens.
She was arrested by Israel in September 2001, convicted for her role in the attack in 2003, and sentenced to 16 life terms in prison; however, in 2011 she was released from prison as part of the “Shalit deal,” in which Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to release more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in return for the release of one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, from captivity in Gaza.
After her release, terrorist Ahlam Tamimi moved to Jordan, where most of her family members are currently residing. Ever since 2012, she has been living and working in Amman and has been receiving special patronization from the Jordanian Royals. Sitting in Jordan, this notorious woman has been plotting and coordinating terrorist attacks on Israel as well as its allies in the world. She also receiving monthly salary both from the Palestinian Authority as well as mega-terrorist outfit Hamas.
In 2017, progress was made toward bringing her to stand trial in the US, when the United States Department of Justice unveiled terror charges against her. Just days after that happened, however, Jordan’s highest court ruled that Jordanian law prohibited her extradition to the United States. Meaning, Jordanian court, which acts under the directives of the King had thrown a direct challenge on the United States government in general and the Department of Justice in particular.
By sheltering Alham Tamimi, the Jordanian authorities have clearly placed themselves into the position of terror-patrons, and for this specific crime, Washington can initiate actions in freezing all the Jordanian assets in the United States including bank accounts. The United States can also consider imposing sanctions on King Abdullah and his family members, while Britain can reject the asylum petition of Prince Haya Bint al Hussein and send her back to Jordan.
In the eyes of the United States’ law enforcement agencies, Tamimi though may be seen as a fugitive, she actually has been ‘hiding’ in plain sight for years under the direct patronization and help of the United States’ longest and closest allies in the Middle East – Jordan.
The dangerous terrorist pretends to be a journalist
Ahlam Tamimi, who is now 39, refers to herself as a journalist and was purportedly given free rein to host her own program on a local TV station broadcast from the city of Ramallah, focused on “occupation practices.” Moreover, she was left unencumbered to bolster a heroic image, of which she has dedicated fan pages, which claim that she “holds a medal of honor” for her “life imprisonment in Zion prisons”.
Tamimi has also given several interviews detailing and illuminating her role, admitting that she selected the restaurant because it was known to be a favorite for families, and expressing her delight that so many children were slain.
“I was really shocked at the American behavior,” Tamimi told an Al Jazeera reporter from her home in the Jordanian capital of Amman in 2017, detailing how she was suddenly arrested by a branch of Interpol and spent one night in jail before successfully fighting extradition through the Jordanian courts. “The U.S. government, who is always trying to solve the problems of the world, has decided to go after one woman for no obvious reasons”.
The US government first filed under seal a criminal complaint against Tamimi in 2013. The criminal complaint was publicly unsealed in March 2017. But almost three years later, and she still remains free.
The Jordanian government has argued that Tamimi cannot be extradited on the grounds that there is no treaty with the U.S. While the late King Hussein, who died in 1999, is reported to have signed the extradition treaty on March 28, 1995, it was not signed into law by the Jordanian parliament.
“Legally, Jordan’s parliament has to ratify a treaty, much the same way that the US Congress has to ratify any treaty signed by the president in order for it to have the force of law,” explained Josh Lipowsky, a senior researcher at the Counter Extremism Project (CEP). “Nonetheless, King Abdullah could choose to honor the extradition request as a goodwill gesture to the United States or if he believes it is in Jordan’s best interests”.
He stressed that even without a formally ratified treaty, King Abdullah “can override the courts’ decision not to extradite Tamimi” and that it is “a matter of weighing potential damage to the US-Jordan relationship versus the threat of upsetting some on the Jordanian street”.
“For now, the risk is low for King Abdullah to keep Tamimi in Jordan, but that could change if the United States were to threaten economic sanctions against Jordan,” Lipowsky continued. “The passage of the Omnibus Spending Bill in December threatens to sever financial aid to any country that ignores a U.S. extradition request of somebody indicted for a criminal offense that carries a life sentence. Tamimi’s 2017 U.S. indictment carries the penalty of life imprisonment or death, which means Jordanian aid could be threatened if her extradition is not carried out.”
Washington needs to accelerate pressure of Amman
In light of ongoing regional unrest, the United States has helped Jordan maintain its stability and prosperity through economic and military assistance and through close political cooperation.
The United States is Jordan’s single largest provider of assistance, “providing over $1.7 billion in 2017, including $1.3 billion in bilateral foreign assistance and over $200 million in Department of Defense support”.
Yet some critics have pointed to the notion that despite the huge sums of American taxpayer dollars dished to Jordan, they still refuse to hand over Tamimi, who masterminded the death of an American child.
“The Kingdom freely takes American foreign aid, relies upon Washington to safeguard it militarily and claims they are a modern state that respects the rule of law. No one, not even Tamimi, denies her role in perpetrating these mass bombings that killed and injured U.S. citizens,” contended Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Israeli law firm Shurat HaDin, which represents some of the Sbarro bombing victims. “Just as the Trump administration is pressing every ally from Europe to Canada to NATO to start to fulfill obligations, Jordan must be forcefully pressed and compelled.”
Jordan harbors terrorist, loves enemies of Jews and Israel
According to the Israeli intelligence source, Ahlam Tamimi is just one of many in a well-known terrorist family line accused of waging war against Israel are being sheltered and even patronized by the Jordanian authorities.
King Abdullah or members of the Jordanian Royal family will never stop from romancing with the enemies of Israel or harboring terrorists like Ahlam Tamimi and others, unless the United States government, especially President Donald Trump initiates stern actions, including economic sanctions on the Jordanian authorities.
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-jihadist journalist, counter-terrorism specialist and editor of Blitz