For the first time, the U.S. Department of Justice was set late Tuesday to issue an extradition request for a Hamas terrorist for trial in an American court, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The request will be made of Jordan to extradite Ahlam Tamimi, a notorious terrorist, who was involved in the Sbarro Pizza bombing on August 9, 2004, in which 15 people were killed and 130 wounded. She was released from an Israeli prison in the Gilad Shalit swap in 2011, and is currently a media personality in Jordan, where she has bragged about her role in the Sbarro and other deadly attacks on Israelis.
Tamimi surveyed the target—a popular eatery in midtown Yerushalayim crowded with Jewish families at lunchtime—before dispatching the suicide bomber, Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri, carrying ten to 20 pounds of explosives, packed with nails, nuts and bolts, to cause maximum harm.
Until now, the only legal proceedings in the U.S. against such terrorists have been civil wrongful death proceedings brought by the families of victims, not by the U.S. government.
The move was lauded by Shurat HaDin President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, whose organization is representing the family of one of the victims, Chana Nachenberg: “We are glad that the U.S. Department of Justice has decided to move forward against this notorious mass murderer. We have been requesting for a long time that this unrepentant Palestinian terrorist be rearrested, extradited and prosecuted by American law enforcement officials.”
It is not known yet how the Jordanian government will respond, caught between its longstanding alliance with the U.S. on the one hand, and its majority Palestinian population, which regards Tamimi as a hero, on the other.