ADL Head Urges Jordan’s King to Enable Extradition of Fugitive Hamas Terrorist Ahlam al-Tamimi to US ‘Without Delay’
The head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Friday urged Jordan’s King Abdullah to personally intervene in the ongoing battle to extradite to the United States the terrorist responsible for the devastating bombing of a downtown Jerusalem restaurant in 2001.
In a personal letter to the king, the ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, described the effort to bring Ahlam al-Tamimi — the Hamas terrorist behind the August 9, 2001 attack at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem that took the lives of 15 people, including two American citizens, and wounded more than 100 — for trial in the US as a “matter of humanity and justice.”
Noting the upcoming nineteenth anniversary of the attack on Sunday, Greenblatt reminded King Abdullah that the US had issued a March 2017 warrant for the arrest of Tamimi, “who openly acknowledges her complicity in arranging this attack and has been enjoying legal immunity in Jordan.”
Tamimi 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 the Gaza Strip.
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.
Jordan’s response to the 2017 US arrest warrant for Tamimi was to block her deportation. The country’s highest court ruled that Jordan’s parliament had not ratified a 1995 extradition treaty with the US; however, the American government position is that the treaty is valid.
Greenblatt called on King Abdullah to back Tamimi’s extradition and repudiate her celebrity status in Jordan.
“I believe it could help resolve some growing uncertainty if you were to publicly state that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan views Ahlam al-Tamimi as a violent extremist, not as the role model that regrettably many public figures in Jordan have celebrated her as being,” the ADL leader wrote.
Greenblatt similarly urged the king to request the speedy ratification of the extradition treaty by Jordan’s national assembly. He added that “it could be even more impactful if you were to publicly urge Jordan’s government to find a solution so that Tamimi is extradited to the US without further delay, either under Jordan’s extradition treaty or another appropriate legal framework in case Jordan’s parliament still declines to follow through.”