|The English version of yesterday's announcement. It also appears in|
international terrorists to justice and prevent acts of international terrorism against U.S. persons or property... Since the inception of the Rewards for Justice program in 1984, the United States Government has paid more than $145 million to over 90 people who provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide. [The program's website]Federal criminal charges were announced last March against Ahlam Tamimi, the mastermind of the 2001 Jerusalem Sbarro pizzeria massacre. Our daughter Malki, 15, was one of the people, mostly children, killed in that Hamas-driven terror outrage. Tamimi described herself as Hamas' first woman agent.
If you follow our blog, it won't be news to you that Tamimi has been living a celebrity's life in Amman, Jordan since her extorted release from an Israeli prison cell in the 2011 Shalit Deal. She was the only one of the 1,027 terrorists freed in that catastrophic transaction who was sent into "exile" in Jordan. Since she was born in Jordan in 1980 and lived in Jordan, getting her education there until a couple of years before executing the Sbarro attack and went back to living in Jordan today with a cousin who is now her husband, it's not really exile and never was.
There is one practical result of the decision to send her to Jordan that's worth noting: as we wrote earlier this week:
No fewer than 420 of the 1,027 let loose in the Shalit Deal are again engaged in the satanic work of doing more terror. 210 of the 1,027 have already been re-arrested by the IDF. Some 100 are currently back in the Israeli prison system... ["29-Jan-18: Freeing unrepentant terrorists and the horrors it has brought"]Tamimi is as active as ever representing Hamas and inciting to more terror. On any view, she is an active terrorist again and therefore is in breach of the terms of the condition that attached to her commutation of sentence and everyone else's in the Shalit Deal: go back to terror and your sentence is reinstated. But unlike almost all the other Shalit Deal beneficiaries she lives in Jordan where the Hashemite Kingdom identifies with her and shields her. Bottom line: Israel cannot touch her.
We have campaigned to have the US step up its efforts, first announced in Washington on March 14, 2017, to have Jordan hand her over to the US authorities so that she can be brought before a judge in Washington to face trial.
It's beyond doubt that Jordan has had an extradition treaty with the United States since 1995 ["26-Jul-17: We listened carefully to Jordan's foreign minister and we have 10 questions"] and that Jordanian citizens have in fact been extradited to the US within its framework.
Jordan now formally denies that the signed treaty is valid and in effect ["20-Mar-17: The Hashemite Kingdom's courts have spoken: The murdering FBI fugitive will not be handed over"].
|The full-size Arabic language reward poster |
can be downloaded here.
Tamimi was named to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list that same day last March. There are currently 28 terrorists on the list. None of them was added to it later than 2013 except for Tamimi. (About this, we're not drawing any conclusions.) And none of those wanted terrorists is hiding in Jordan. For that matter, neither is Tamimi though it's where she lives and principally operates when she's not traveling around the Arab world on celebrity visits and pro-terror rallies.
Which brings us to yesterday's important and welcome announcement ["Information that brings to justice | Ahlam Ahmad al-Tamimi | Up to $5 Million Reward"] made in Washington:
The Rewards for Justice Program is offering up to $5 million for information leading to al-Tamimi’s arrest or conviction for her role in this [Jerusalem Sbarro] attack, as part of the 1993 Violence in Opposition to the Middle East Peace Negotiations reward offer... Hamas has been designated by the Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under the Immigration and Nationality Act and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity under E.O. 13224. [Source]So how hard will it be to track down this confessed murderer?
Not as hard as you might imagine. Within Jordan, for reasons worth pondering, she's not thought of as a jihadist felon at all but more as a national hero of "resistance". To illustrate: she shared a prominent speaking platform just a few weeks ago in Amman with no less than a former Jordanian prime minister and several current and former national level politicians. [The details are in our post: "05-Jan-18: In Jordan, the FBI fugitive Ahlam Tamimi (among others) pays tribute to her slapping/taunting/kicking Tamimi cousin"].
Note that this occurred nine months after the United States called on Jordan to comply with its long-established treaty obligations going back to the Clinton Administration, and to hand her over to them for prosecution on some of the most serious charges that ever arise.
To some people, it will seem like a pungent message, even an insult, to the US from its heavily-dependent Jordanian client and partner in the battle against terrorists that Jordan said - and has stuck to saying - "no".
What might the Rewards for Justice development now do? Well, the Amman bureau chief of Associated Press had no difficulty arranging an interview in Tamimi's Amman home last March, filming a video clip (to our fury, we are in it too) that was then posted to YouTube. Many additional media organizations, among them Aljazeera, have managed to somehow find her and give her coverage and publicity in the past 9 months without struggling to locate her home. She might even be listed in the phone directory. Our understanding is she has not been in hiding at any stage since re-establishing herself in her Jordanian homeland in October 2011. And still is not.
We have questions about how the new reward works, including how it's going to be advertised. We have shared some of our concerns with the US authorities about aspects of the hard road to here and what's ahead. But we will save those matters for another time.