|The Moroccan interview [Source]|
That's been our fate since Ahlam Tamimi, a Jordanian woman who was Hamas' first-ever female terror agent, returned in 2011 to her homeland and began living the life of her dreams.
Jordan is where she was born and raised. It's where most of her family live. Jordan is also the kingdom whose rulers have taken what seem to us to be huge foreign relations risks by sticking a finger in the eye of their most important ally, the United States.
How they did this is something about which we have written and spoken publicly a lot. Jordan has an extradition agreement with the United States. It's been in place since Bill Clinton was president. Several Jordanians were extradited to the US and convicted and imprisoned.
But there's evidently something about a Jordanian woman who identifies as a Palestinian Arab and whose targets were not only Israelis but also mainly children that somehow changes the degree to which Jordan respects its bilateral obligations.
The bottom line: Jordan's highest court ruled in March 2017 that Tamimi cannot be extradited to Washington because (this takes genuine hutzpah, given the realities of power in Jordan) that treaty is not only unconstitutional now but has been since the day it was signed by the two governments. We won't go into details but the problem on which Jordan's Court of Cassation based its finding is a highly technical, narrow and trivial one that Jordan could have easily fixed and still can. It chooses not to.
And so instead of standing trial in Washington and facing life imprisonment, this FBI Most Wanted Terrorist who confesses to killing 15 people now appears - more and more often - in public Jordanian forums, in Jordan's mass media and in the newspapers and websites and television programs of Arabic media outlets throughout the world. (For more about the events of the past two years since the US charges against Tamimi were unveiled, see "14-Mar-19: Two years after Federal charges are unsealed, Ahlam Tamimi remains free. How is this happening?")
If you're a regular visitor to our blog, you may know how distressed we are by the sense that the US government could do, but is not doing, more to press Jordan and bring this loathsome and very dangerous woman to justice.
You might also know that we have been campaigning for the US to take more active measures. This has entailed more and more overtures to public officials and members of Congress [see "03-Feb-16: In Washington DC, victims of terror and the search for justice"] and a lot of behind the scenes activity. There has been meaningful progress but still not enough.
Out of the blue, in the midst of yet another official King Abdullah II visit to Washington nine days ago, one of the US president's senior advisers took up the Extradite Tamimi cause publicly. He did this via Twitter ["12-Mar-19: Yes, Americans surely ought to know that Ahlam Tamimi lives free today"], tweeting
Americans ought to know that Ahlam Ahmad al-Tamini [sic], a convicted Hamas terrorist who, together with others, murdered in cold blood 15 people including 7 children, lives free today. See details here: https://rewardsforjustice.net/english/ahlam_al_tamimi.htmlTwo days ago, Tamimi took advantage of an interview with a Moroccan newspaper, to push back.
The interview was of course published in Arabic. What follows is a fisked English version (and it's not machine translated) in which the fugitive engages in a mixture - by now familiar to us - of outright lies, self-aggrandizing exaggerations and a small handful of intriguing revelations.
I am not a terrorist but a girl who defended her land and America does not frighten me: Interview | 2019-03-19 | Yusuf Bannasiriya in AlYawm24
Last Tuesday, the American president’s delegate to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt attacked the Jordanian journalist of Palestinian origin, the freed prisoner in the Wafaa al-Ahrar (Gilad Shalit) deal, Ahlam Tamimi. He said via a tweet on Twitter that Tamimi “killed more than 15 people and is living free today” while demanding information on her whereabouts in exchange for a financial reward.This Ongoing War says: Actually Mr Greenblatt isn't demanding anything other than that Americans ought to know. Why they surely should. The link he includes in the tweet explains - in English but unfortunately not in Arabic - that the Rewards for Justice unit at the US State Department has for more than a year now been offering a $5M prize for information leading to her capture and conviction in the United States. (The far more important Arabic version of that State Department poster is online here.) Tamimi and her Moroccan interviewer are probably not familiar with the reward for the sad reason that no physical posters have actually been posted anywhere. That's an issue for another time.
In this context, the Al-Yawm 24 website interviewed this young Palestinian woman who is wanted by Washington, Ahlam Tamimi, and who was arrested by the Occupation after her involvement in a martyrdom operation in 2001 after which she was sentenced to 1,600 years of imprisonment, before being released in the prisoner exchange deal in 2011.This Ongoing War says: They call her a Palestinian but the record shows she was born in Jordan, was educated there right up until the point where she decided to cross the Jordan River and pursue journalism studies at a Palestinian Arab university, and lives there today with the man she married there seven years ago ["22-Jun-12: A wedding and what came before it"]. Calling the massacre of Jewish customers (Tamimi says she went looking for Jews) "a martyrdom operation" is a cognitive warfare strategy. Tamimi is no martyr and has made clear repeatedly that her goal was murder - the murder of Israeli children. The weapon she planted at Sbarro to achieve her hideous aim was a human bomb - a young religious fanatic with an explosive-laden guitar case on his back; at the critical moment, he blew up the guitar case, himself, the Sbarro pizzeria and many unarmed, unsuspecting humans. She brought him from Ramallah, accompanying him through the Israeli security checkpoint and along the streets of central Jerusalem. Neither he nor she sought to commit suicide but to kill people. The reference to "1,600 years of imprisonment" is inaccurate: she was serving 16 concurrent terms of life imprisonment with a strong judicial recommendation that she never be paroled or otherwise released. In the event, she was in prison for barely 8 years after being sentenced.
Q. What is this all about and what is the story behind the American demand of handing you over to Washington?This Ongoing War says: The FBI and the US Department of Justice sought and got an Interpol Red Notice some time before September 2016 while the US Federal criminal complaint against Tamimi was still under seal i.e. secret. Interpol doesn't have its own officers. Interpol says the Red Notice is "a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action... A Red Notice is an international wanted persons notice, but it is not an arrest warrant." The Jordanian police were obliged to act on it and did. (They have since made clear the case is closed from their standpoint, and they don't plan to bother her again.) She was taken into custody for a single night and then released in the morning. She was then, we believe, told by Jordanian government officials to maintain a low profile, as a result of which she stopped presenting the inciting-to-terror, Hamas-produced TV show ["Breezes of the Free"] she had recorded every week in Amman for nearly five years.
Tamimi: Mine is an old story that goes back to September 2016 when Interpol circulated the red memo all over the world in an attempt to capture me and hand me over to America due to two cases having been opened against me by the families of the dead Israelis who had dual American citizenship and who died in the Jihadi operations which I waged in Jerusalem. These were successful and from that day on, the statements kept coming, the most recent one of which is Greenblatt’s statement claiming that I am living free and that there is an American reward site which is offering 5 million dollars to whoever provides information on me.
Q. Who issued the previous statements?This Ongoing War says: To see what three of the highest-ranking law enforcement officials in the US, including Mary B. McCord, the then Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, actually did say, go to the Department of Justice Media Release dated March 14, 2017 and headed "Individual Charged in Connection With 2001 Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem That Resulted in Death of Americans". Prof. McCord called Tamimi "an unrepentant terrorist who admitted to her role in a deadly terrorist bombing that injured and killed numerous innocent victims... When terrorists target Americans anywhere in the world, we will never forget – and we will continue to seek to ensure that they are held accountable."
Tamimi: Among these were official statements issued by the US Attorney General who said that I was a terrorist and a criminal, and she demanded from Trump, at the beginning of his presidency, that he arrest me. She said: “Go and practise your duty as president and arrest this terrorist who is currently living freely in Jordan”, in addition to statements issued by the Jewish society which laid two cases against me in the Washington court.
Q. What is your response to the latest statements of the US delegate to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt?This Ongoing War says: Tamimi, a highly-ideological savage who grins right into the camera when asked about the children she bombed to pieces, assumes the mantel of striver for peace. A defender of her homeland. A resistance fighter. She assumes (and she may be right) that she's addressing an audience for whom war crimes, the cold-blooded, calculated murder of innocents and the deliberate hunting down of children all come with no moral stain. That what she did is perfectly understandable. The question for the rest of is do we want to live in a world like that; or allow her to live free in our world and promote those ugly ideas.
Tamimi: Firstly, this person is the consultant to the American president Donald Trump, so he is not a nobody. In addition, as I indicated before, he is the US peace delegate to the Middle East. His mission therefore is as someone who is supposedly working towards peace and who is speaking from this starting point, while his statements conflict with the expected mannerisms of this role. How can we speak about peace and complete calm while he leaves the terrorists of ISIS and the terrorist citizens within America to shoot at schools and kill civilians, and then he comes to speak against a Palestinian having Jordanian citizenship and whose role it was only to defend her homeland in a resistance against the longest invasion in the world, as the Palestinian people have done.
I say to Greenblatt after his very racist statements that I am not a terrorist. I am a girl who defended her land and country and who based on this was falsely sentenced by the Zionist entity. I spent 10 and a half years in prison and then left according to an internationally recognized deal.This Ongoing War says: We're all racists in Tamimi's view of the world. She's feted, celebrated, given public podiums to make her hate-filled, ultra-violent speeches but we need to understand, she says, that she's a girl (actually 39 now, and 21 when she masterminded the massacre) and that having confessed to the Israeli court that sent her to sixteen life terms, she was "falsely sentenced". She implies that an "internationally recognized deal", presumably the release of 1,027 terrorists in a Hamas-directed extortion of Israel in the 2011 Shalit Deal, means she's off the hook. But of course she's not. We have a copy of the legal papers she was given prior to being released that say she and the others are having their sentences conditionally commuted subject to them not re-offending. Tamimi herself, in every public appearance she makes, reminds us how central the idea of murdering Israelis is to her existence and values. She incites to terror as easily as most of us breathe. The terms of her commutation mean she became immediately subject to re-imprisonment in Israel as soon as she landed in Jordan. Separate and independently from that, she faces serious terrorism charges in Washington.
I consider these statements to be very racist and unjust Nazi-like statements. They are illogical and indicate that this person, Jason Greenblatt, is working in favour of Zionism as he is using the same rhetoric as the Zionists, at a time when he supposed to speaking about peace as he is the peace delegate.This Ongoing War says: As a communicator, Tamimi is no idiot. She knows her audiences. Slinging accusations that the guy giving you a hard time is a Nazi and/or a racist evidently works in her circle. She doesn't need to explain; hurling the insults is a goal in itself. And of course peace is very dear to her ice-cold heart.
So your accusations against me are false, and I shall continue to defend my rights until my last breath. Neither Greenblatt nor others scare me. I am going on with my life. I live as a free citizen in Jordan, I am completing my studies, and I have not done anything against Americans as they are claiming.This Ongoing War says: She's not defending her rights. She's not deflecting any accusations. She's not denying any actual charges. None of this is surprising; she has admitted them for years. She doesn't have to defend, deflect or deny because the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is already shielding her, doing an effective job of keeping the Feds away. As for "I have not done anything against Americans", she had a different version two years ago ["24-Mar-17: Our daughter's smiling killer: "Shocked" that US "decided to go after her for no obvious reason""].
Q. How do you consider the timing of these latest statements? What is the motive behind them?This Ongoing War says: This is revealing. Tamimi is solidly aligned with Hamas. At the same time, she claims to be grateful to King Abdullah II and his "steadfast" law courts for keeping her safe from the DOJ. But there's been considerable friction between the Islamists and the Hashemites, sometimes more, sometimes less, since he became king. Saying "I shall leave the readers to do their own analyses", Tamimi is inviting criticism of the king that, if it came out of her own mouth, would cause her problems with Jordan's government - the members of which the king appoints and removes at will. Important note: Tamimi would probably hate for people to start commenting on how ungrateful she actually seems to be to the king.
Tamimi: I consider the timing to have been calculated and intentional because it coincides with the visit of the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Washington, and with the meeting held between King Abdullah and Greenblatt, the US foreign secretary and the White House consultant. So what happened? And what was said behind the scenes in this meeting for Greenblatt to come out with these statements? This is the question that I pose. I have Jordanian citizenship, and these statements coincide with King Abdullah’s meeting with them, and with the nature of the discussions held by these three people. They spoke of the deal of the century and consolidating Jordanian American bilateral relations in combating terrorism – two lines under the word terrorism – and then these statements were made. I shall leave the readers to do their own analyses, and for the analysts to analyse the timing of these two events.
Q. How is your daily life going in light of this situation?This Ongoing War says: Life's a bitch. She's a mass murderer and wanted by Interpol but really, all she wants is comfort and quiet, to visit Saudi Arabia, to go about her jihad-focused business. And they just won't let her. She's a victim of American demands. What did she ever do to deserve all these restrictions?
Tamimi: I am banned from travelling to any country in the world because my name has been registered at all the airports since 2016. I am banned from making Umrah. I used to work in Lebanon after I was freed from prison but unfortunately my travel ban has caused my source of income there to come to a halt. In addition, my freedom of movement within Jordan itself is limited. My life as a freed prisoner is now restricted. It has placed limitations on my life and it is frustrating. In other words, I have not benefited anything from this freedom with these American demands hovering over me. As for my life becoming unstable, there are many continuous threats that make you live cautiously with your eyes open. There is no comfort and quiet.
After the financial reward was offered this week, I have had to beware of any person I see in the street whom I do not know. He could be a bounty hunter or someone who was hired to take me. At any moment, I could be forced into a car and taken to America, due to the American embassy being located in Jordan. These are some of many dangers which unfortunately have been revived in my life.This Ongoing War says: The State Department reward was announced more than a year ago ["31-Jan-18: There's now a $5 million reward for bringing the terrorist Ahlam Tamimi to justice"] and not, as Tamimi says, "this week". She blew eight children to pieces but asks for sympathy because of "dangers which unfortunately have been revived" in her pampered life of fame and influence. You could choke from reading this kind of thing. We could. We do.
Q. In March 2017, Jordan, through the Court of Cassation, rejected the American administration’s decision that you be handed over to Washington. What do you expect now from the Kingdom of Jordan?This Ongoing War says: We literally stay awake at night worrying that the self-serving, immoral trash-talk that this barbarian articulates here is going to move people outside the Arab world to reach deep inside themselves and stand up for Tamimi's "rights". Jordan's King Abdullah has never spoken publicly about Tamimi, at least not for the record. But people in his entourage have been in touch with Tamimi's handlers and as a result she's confident enough to say to a newspaper interviewer that the king "needs to bring" the American pursuit of her "to an end" because she's entitled to "live freely and calmly". The tragedy is that she lives in a region where people actually do think like that.
Tamimi: My story has become a political one, and it therefore needs to come to an end through the strong American-Jordanian alliance in a one minute joint session, through understandings taken between King Abdullah and President Donald Trump, so that this issue can be laid to rest and so that the two cases are withdrawn from the Washington court.
Jordan has naturally taken a very important first step when it provided me with a judicial decision and submitted it to America. They told them that they cannot and will not hand over Ahlam Al-Tamimi to you. But in the wake of the financial reward being offered, this subject needs to be brought to an end from its political roots, by the King and the Jordanian government.
I therefore direct a message to them that it is necessary to bring this case to an end so that I can live freely and calmly, and so that I can go travel to perform Hajj and Umrah, and also so that I can find job opportunities.
It is important to me that I not remain restricted because humanitarianism dictates that I should not live in this manner.
Q. The anniversary of the killing of American Rachel Corrie, who was mowed down by a military bulldozer belonging to the Israeli army in March 2003, was observed two days ago. How do you interpret the American administration’s overlooking of her murder?This Ongoing War says: Tamimi, a TV reporter and far from stupid, has a solid grasp of what Hitler and Goebbels meant by the Big Lie and how to use it. She's drunk deeply at the well of classic antisemitic tropes and "knows" that in America, it's the Zionists who are in charge and as a consequence Americans don't know how to deal with terrorists who set out to murder large numbers of innocents. If America ever wants to take advice from an Islamist zealot who brings a deep familiarity with murder and lethal bigotry, Mrs Tamimi will be a leading candidate.
Tamimi: Rachel Corrie is not the only American who was killed the Zionist occupation without the American administration lifting a finger to hold the Zionist entity accountable for what it had done. There are other activists who had American nationality who come to Palestine for the sake of peace, who join the popular resistance and who believe that it is the right of Palestinians to live. A large number of them have been shot in the legs and have been sometimes arrested due to their support of the Palestinian people.
What we notice in the case of Rachel Corrie is that her case has passed without any accountability for those who killed her, or even condemnation of the crime. If this proves anything, it proves that the Zionist entity is in control of the American system. We all know that biggest lobby in the American congress is the Zionist lobby which controls all the decisions. We also know that the Deep State within America is the Zionists who are the capitalists. No decision is made and no president elected without their prior approval.
If we were to comment as well, then let us comment on all the events that have taken place in America, such as when Americans shoot up schools, university students and when such people are condemned, they are labelled as mentally unstable. This is terrorism which kills citizens in your country, Oh America. As for me, I am defending my country and my land. You want to hold me accountable while you do not hold the Zionist occupation accountable for murdering Rachel Corrie, nor for their shooting at American activists. You do not hold those who intentionally kill innocent people in your country accountable.
Q. How do you evaluate the Moroccan position, be it the official or popular position towards the Palestinian resistance?The article goes on but from this point Tamimi devotes herself, speaking to a Moroccan news site, to praising Morocco. She appreciates their support of the "resistance" in Gaza (this means Hamas) and of Khaled Mashal (who used to run Hamas). But for all her high regard for them, she doesn't support Morocco's relatively constructive ties with "the Zionist entity".
I always look to the popular position in any country. When speaking about Morocco, it is a valuable position and we truly appreciate it...
The real take-away here is her toxic influence. This dedicated murderer, now living free as a bird, not in hiding, not on the run, in the capital of an Arab kingdom reckoned to be a US ally, has standing, celebrity and access to the media. What Tamimi says in her explosive region of the world has the potent and quickly-out-of-control flammable impact of a lit match in a field of tinder-dry brush.
And even though much of what she has to say is plainly distorted, dishonest and provocative, we have not yet seen even a single instance where her appearance in the Arabic-language media includes criticism or even any serious analysis of the woman, her narrative or her views.
We wish this would disturb other people as much as it disturbs us.