Ahlam al-Tamimi: Jordan refuses to extradite her to US
US prosecutors allege woman accompanied suicide bomber and ordered him to detonate explosives in Jerusalem pizzeria.
Jordan’s highest court has blocked the extradition of a Jordanian woman who faces US charges in the 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizza restaurant that killed 15 people, including two Americans.
The US indictment against Ahlam al-Tamimi was unsealed last week.
Jordanian state media reported on Tuesday that a day earlier, Jordan’s Court of Cassation upheld a lower-court decision on grounds that Jordan and the United States do not have an extradition treaty.
The military’s news website Hala Akhbar quoted Tamimi as saying she had been confident the Jordanian judiciary “will be fair to me”.
US prosecutors allege she accompanied the suicide bomber and ordered him to detonate the explosives.
Tamimi was imprisoned in Israel for 10 years of a 16-year sentence, but released to Jordan in a 2011 prisoner swap between Israel and the Palestinian group, Hamas.
READ MORE: Ahlam Aref Ahmad al-Tamimi on FBI’s Most Wanted list
She was convicted by an Israeli court in 2001 of involvement in the attack in Jerusalem – carried out by Hamas’ armed wing – that killed 13 Israelis, two Americans, and wounded more than 120 others.
“Extradition requests sent by foreign countries to the relevant authorities in Jordan cannot be accepted unless they are based on an enforceable [extradition] treaty or agreement,” an unidentified source was quoted as saying by Jordan’s official Petra news agency.
The US justice department recently requested Tamimi’s extradition to the US after the FBI put her at the top of its list of wanted “terrorists”.
Hamas welcomed Monday’s court decision. “We appreciate Jordan’s commendable position,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasim told Anadolu news agency.
“We call upon the free people of the world to remember the Palestinian prisoners still languishing in Israeli jails.”