Sbarro terrorist attack
Sbarro terrorist attackFlash 90

Arutz Sheva has taken the initiative in reminding the public of an indefensibly ongoing saga - the efforts to bring to justice the murderess responsible for the deaths of 16 innocent people in a Jerusalem Sbarro pizza restaurant twenty two years ago.

In the most recent development, a full ten years after her conviction in the USA, former Congressman Ted Deutsch, head of the American Jewish Committee, wrote a letter to the Attorney General of the United States, Merrick B. Garland, calling on the Department of Justice “to intensify its pursuit of the extradition from the Kingdom of Jordan of Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, the Jordanian terrorist whose 16 murder victims in the 2001 Sbarro restaurant bombing in Jerusalem included three U.S. citizens."

"They were," he wrote, "Shoshana Yehudit Greenbaum, 31 years old and five months pregnant; the 15-year-old American-Israeli Malka Chana Roth; and Chana Finer Nachenberg, also an American-Israeli, who suffered catastrophic injuries that left her in a vegetative coma and who died on May 30, 2023, without ever regaining consciousness.”

Tried in an Israeli courtroom, Tamimi proudly confessed to all charges brought against her and was convicted for her central role in the atrocity.

So what is she doing in Jordan?

Deutsch's letter explains: "Tamimi... received 16 life sentences, served eight years in prison before being released in a 2011 exchange [of 1027 terrorists convicted by Israel] for Hamas captive Gilad Shalit, and has since resided in Jordan, her homeland."

Upon her return to Amman, Tamimi received a tumultuous reception which was given wide media coverage and, Deutsch wrote, "unrepentant, she has enjoyed celebrity status since returning to Jordan, glorifying and inciting terrorism and for five years hosting a program on the Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds TV, beamed throughout the Arabic-speaking world."

Not a few of the terrorists released in the Shalit exchange deal returned to terrorism, but Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi alone actually became a terror-glorifying celebrity..

She has since regaled in speaking about the finer details of her murderous atrocities, referring to the innocents murdered by the human bomb she planted at the crowded central-Jerusalem eatery as “Zionists," (i.e. expendable) and describing her role in the murders as “a crown on my head”.

Tamimi married her cousin, Nizar Tamimi, also a remorseless and convicted killer who was freed from Israeli prison on the same day. Their wedding in the summer of 2012 was broadcast live on Jordanian TV. As with every other aspect of her rise to celebrity-dom in Jordan, no public criticism of the person or her deeds has ever appeared in Jordan’s mainstream or social media. Are they proud of her?

Well, in one notable appearance on the popular youth-oriented TV show “Caravan” on November 24, 2018, the presenter in a spontaneous expression of enthusiasm for the blood-soaked interviewee exclaimed: "This is admirable! You, the people of the struggle, elevate the name of Jordan!"

How could the United States allow this to happen?

After all, empowered by a federal law that gives its law enforcement arms jurisdiction over the perpetrators of acts of terror done outside the United States, Deutsch recalls that "the Department of Justice indicted Tamimi under seal in 2013, making the charges public in 2017, and at the same time formally seeking her extradition under the 1995 Jordan-U.S. treaty. She was designated an FBI Most Wanted Terrorist that year, and in 2018 a $5 million State Department reward was posted for information leading to her capture and conviction in Washington."

Note that there are currently 24 people on that FBI Most Wanted Terrorist list. Only two are women. American media have dubbed Tamimi America’s most wanted female fugitive.

Still, six days after the Tamimi charges were unsealed, and determined speeches were made by senior Department of Justice figures and the FBI, Deutsch continues, "Jordan’s Court of Cassation declared the treaty itself to be invalid on the grounds of an alleged failure by Jordan in 1995 to properly ratify it – a position the U.S. government has consistently rejected."

Deutsch forcefully writes that "Jordan’s assertion that it is not bound by a treaty given full effect by both sides for two decades is perplexing. We have seen with our own eyes a formal document signed by His Late Majesty King Hussein on July 13, 1995, and presented by Jordan’s Foreign Ministry to the State Department. In this, he 'declare[s] our agreement to and ratification of that Treaty in whole and in part,' pledging to 'carry out its provisions and abide by its Articles' and swearing that he, 'God willing… shall not allow its violation.' The Court of Cassation’s decision invalidating the treaty makes no reference to this cornerstone Jordanian document."

"AJC is fully cognizant of the sensitivities surrounding this case, including the fact that it was Israel, as a result of difficult negotiations to free a Hamas hostage, that released the terrorist in the first place. But as we understand the facts of this matter, there is no ambiguity regarding the U.S.-Jordan extradition treaty. Legal obligations between nations cannot be set aside because they are inconvenient to enforce.

"On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the criminal complaint against Tamimi being filed by the Department of Justice with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, we therefore call on the Department, in concert with other relevant government entities, to exert every effort to see that Tamimi is extradited and tried in the United States at the earliest possible date," Deutsch demands at the end of his letter.

Tamimi, unfazed, has remained in Jordan since the unsealing of the American charges against her. Her husband, meanwhile, was expelled by Jordan in October 2020 for reasons never articulated by the Hashemite Kingdom and is now a resident of Qatar. Tamimi has made numerous public calls on King Abdullah II, insisting that she has the right as a Jordanian woman and citizen, to live with her husband in Jordan. So far, her demands have been ignored.

And in March 2021, soon after her husband’s deportation, Ahlam Tamimi’s name was removed from the Interpol Red Notice list.

An announcement by some of America’s major Jewish organizations in July 2020 called on the US to press Jordan to extradite Tamimi. It received no response.

Jewish leaders have met behind closed doors with King Abdullah II repeatedly in the years since Tamimi became a fugitive.

But Tamimi continues to deliver pro-terror public speeches via Facebook, Arabic-language TV and social media, and occasional newspaper columns. She remains a loud voice encouraging terror while enjoying Jordanian protection

No spokesperson for the White House or the State Department has ever pronounced the name of this FBI Most Wanted in public, even when King Abdullah has arrived – as he does annually – in Washington to be received warmly and with great honor.

The Tamimi issue has been as much covered up by the Republicans as the Democrats.

An October 2022 letter from a very senior US official to Frimet and Arnold Roth, parents of 15-year-old US citizen and Sbarro victim Malki, declares that “on behalf of the President, Secretary Blinken and National Security Adviser Sullivan I want to reiterate our deepest condolences… Pursuing justice for American victims of terrorism, including Malki, is a foremost priority for the United States”.

It is? You could have fooled us....

But maybe, just maybe, Former Congressman Ted Deutsch's letter will motivate the United States to action. As Frimet and Arnold Roth wrote in their grateful public response to the letter:

“Mr Deutch's letter is honorable and welcome. In urging the DOJ to press for extradition by a valued treaty partner, the AJC is backed by justice, American law, and Judaism's profound respect for the sanctity of human life. Ahlam Tamimi calls the Sbarro atrocity 'a crown on my head'. The obscenity of her being free to inspire admiring crowds in Jordan and beyond with her savagery should have ended years ago in a Washington courthouse. We pray it will now.”

Each of the 16 victims of the Sbarro terror bombing was, of course, an entire world, and two of them, sweet 15-year old friends Malki Roth and Michal Raziel, were neighbors of Arutz Sheva writer Rochel Sylvetsky, who misses them still and wrote this article.