Jordan’s highest court upholds decision to deny US request to extradite terrorist

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Jordan’s highest court has upheld a lower court decision to deny a U.S. request to extradite a woman who was involved in a suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem that killed 15 people, including two Americans.

In the case of Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, the Court of Cassation upheld the decision on Monday reportedly because an extradition agreement between the two countries signed in 1995 was never ratified by the Jordanian parliament, according to the Petra news agency, citing an unnamed judicial source.

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department unsealed the charge against Al-Tamimi for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against American citizens.

Al-Tamimi, who is in her mid-30s and also is known as Khalti and Halati, is accused of being involved in the suicide bombing at a Sbarro pizza restaurant in 2001 that left 122 injured, including four Americans. The charge had been sealed since July 2013.

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 controversial deal to free kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in which Israel exchanged 1,027 prisoners. The Justice Department is seeking her extradition to stand trial.

Advertisement for the J

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

The FBI has placed her on its Most Wanted Terrorist List.