Woman Charged By U.S. For 2001 Jerusalem Suicide Bombing

(JTA) — The United States charged a Jordanian woman with involvement in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem that killed 15, including two Americans.

The U.S. Justice Department unsealed Tuesday the charge against Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, who is in her mid 30s and is also known as “Khalti” and “Halati,” for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against American citizens.

The criminal charge for Al-Tamimi, which had been under seal since July 2013, was for involvement in a suicide bombing at a Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem that left 122 injured, including four Americans.

According to the U.S. affidavit, Al-Tamimi traveled with the suicide bomber, lead the bomber to a crowded area and provided instructions on how to detonate the weapon, according to the U.S. Justice Department. She had agreed to carry out attacks on behalf of Hamas’ military wing, the affidavit said.

In 2003, she pleaded guilty in an Israeli court to multiple counts of murder and was sentenced to life in prison but was released and returned to Jordan in 2011 as part of the prisoner exchange to free kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The FBI said on Tuesday that it had placed Al-Tamimi on its Most Wanted Terrorist List. The Justice Department is seeking her extradition to stand trial in the U.S.

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.”

“The charges unsealed today serve as a reminder that when terrorists target Americans anywhere in the world, we will never forget — and we will continue to seek to ensure that they are held accountable,” McCord said in the statement.

U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips for the District of Columbia said the U.S. had not forgotten the victims of the 2001 bombing.

“We have never forgotten the American and non-American victims of this awful terrorist attack. We will continue to remain vigilant until Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi is brought to justice,” Phillips said.

Author

Josefin Dolsten

Josefin Dolsten is a news fellow at the Forward. She writes about politics and culture, and edits the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Contact her at dolsten@forward.com and follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.

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Woman Charged By U.S. For 2001 Jerusalem Suicide Bombing

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