New York Rabbis Join Call for Congressional Investigation Into Fugitive Hamas Terrorist Living Freely in Jordan
A group of prominent New York rabbis has joined the call for the US Congress to formally investigate why a Department of Justice extradition request for a Hamas terrorist living in Jordan remains outstanding more than two years after it was unsealed.
As reported exclusively by The Algemeiner on July 17, Arnold and Frimet Roth — whose 15-year-old daughter Malki was murdered in the Aug. 9, 2001 attack at a Sbarro pizza restaurant in downtown Jerusalem — are urging American legislators to probe concerns that efforts to bring to justice Ahlam al-Tamimi, a Hamas terrorist who planned and helped execute the atrocity, had been subordinated to continued good relations with Jordan.
In their letter to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the head of the House Judiciary Committee, the rabbis urged a probe “into whether the State Department is properly coordinating with the Justice Department as well as taking appropriate action necessary to bring Tamimi to America for justice.”
“We demand the DoJ stand by its word and enforce its own policies,” the letter stated.
New York rabbis who signed the letter included Shlomo Riskin, Menachem Genack, Jason Herman, Dovid Zirkind and Elchanan Poupko.
Jordan’s highest court rebuffed a US request for Tamimi’s deportation to America in March 2017, despite an extradition treaty agreed on by the two countries in 1995.
Tamimi had previously been sentenced to 16 consecutive life terms in jail by an Israeli court in 2003. She served just eight years before she was released, along with more than 1,000 other convicted Palestinian terrorists, in the 2011 deal between Israel and Hamas that secured the freedom of Gilad Shalit, an IDF soldier held captive in Gaza.
After the prisoner exchange, Tamimi set herself up in the Jordanian capital of Amman as a media personality, hosting her own show on satellite television and frequently celebrating her participation in the Sbarro bombing.
Arnold Roth told The Algemeiner that his “interactions with American government officials have been unrewarding and often humiliating,” and that “State Department officials, including its diplomats, have been notably unhelpful.”
Asked about the Jordanian government’s negative response to the US extradition request for Tamimi in 2017, a State Department official told The Algemeiner that the US government still held the view “that the 1995 extradition treaty with Jordan entered into force on July 29, 1995, and remains valid today.”
The official noted that “Jordan remains a committed US partner on counterterrorism and countering violent extremism. But the Jordanian courts have declined to extradite al-Tamimi.”