Monday, March 13, 2023

13-Mar-23: The Sbarro bomber says she has rights and she's demanding them

In Amman on March 10, 2023, a crowd of Tamimi supporters calls on
King Abdullah II to 
return the pizzeria bomber's husband to her [Image Source]

The Sbarro bomber, FBI Most Wanted fugitive terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, has embarked on a pre-Ramadan campaign to get her husband back.

Where did he go? To Qatar, as we wrote at the time ["04-Oct-20: The Sbarro bomber's husband has been forced to leave Jordan: A snapshot of developments"].

He appears - that's what reports are saying - to be taking up residence in Qatar. But note that the government of Jordan has said precisely not one word. And no reports of him actually being in Qatar have emerged yet. There's room to be cautious in interpreting what's happened. [Source]

We noted back then, some two and a half years ago, that the abandoned wife had issued this "special statement":

The expulsion of her husband from the Hashemite Kingdom came "suddenly and without prior coordination" [the special statement of Ahlam Tamimi said] and "at a very sensitive time... in light of increasing American demands to extradite me to there... The deportation of my husband Nizar was met with much joy and pleasure in the Zionist newspapers."  The husband's deportation is, she fears, "a prelude to handing her over to the American authorities." This is very wrong since, as she puts it, "it is my right for my husband to live with me on Jordanian lands with dignity just like all other Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians." 

Ahlam Tamimi is a stunningly cold killer who boasts of her central role in two bombing atrocities in Jerusalem, one of which actually happened. 

She has never expressed a single word of remorse for the massive loss of innocent lives including that of our precious fifteen year-old daughter Malki. Those murdered by her bomb get no mention in this latest of her publicity campaigns.

For someone described in law enforcement posters as a person who "should be considered armed and dangerous", it's worth noting Tamimi's uncommon fixation with asserting her rightsShe has been doing that again these past few days:

The human life of any Jordanian woman married to a non-Jordanian is a right and a natural requirement for Jordanian women on Jordanian soil... I mean, I am asking for a reunion with my husband. At this moment, it has been two and a half years since I was removed from my husband, but I cannot go to him because there are many security agreements that govern other countries with America. Leaving Jordan puts me in danger if I leave Jordan and go to any other country. Therefore, the best solution is the return of my husband... This is our right as Jordanians and an entitlement because I am a fighter who has suffered in Zionist prisons for ten and a half years. Therefore, through you [a news interviewer], I appeal to the Jordanian tribes... I appeal to the hearts of Jordanian tribes, mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, to support and stand by me in this darkness. We are at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, a month characterized by mercy and compassion. I hope you will sympathize with me and my cause, especially since at the end of 2022 in November, my father died. We asked the concerned authorities to allow Nizar [Ahlam Tamimi's cousin and hasband] to come - my father is Nizar's uncle - in order to attend his uncle's funeral and stand by me. This request was absolutely rejected. If such humanitarian situations arise, Nizar will not be allowed to come to Jordan. When will the family be reunited? Before Ramadan, I ask you for mercy. I ask you for sympathy. I ask you for sympathy. [Source: Video interview of Ahlam Tamimi published by Facebook]

Tamimi's appeal via Gaza's Shehab Agency
She made a push for those same rights a day earlier in another video interview, this time with a Gaza-based, Hamas-aligned news platform called Shehab Agency whose Facebook presence was shut down by Facebook in 2021:

I am exposed to great darkness [an Arabic-speaking friend who saw this says "injustice" is a better translation] in Jordanian territory... This darkness [injustice] hurts me every time because it has shaken the entity of family stability. In 2020, the decision was made to remove my husband from Jordan without knowing the reason. We received verbal reasons that he was an unwanted person on Jordanian territory and was removed from Jordanian territory... During the two and a half years, I have tried to claim my rights as Jordanians married to a Palestinian man. These are the rights of Jordanian women in Jordan. I have asked my husband more than once to return to Jordan in order to be reunited with the family, in light of the fact that I am being subjected to an American attack by [the threat of them] rearresting me in America and I cannot leave Jordan. In addition, in 2017, I obtained a Jordanian judicial decision from the highest Jordanian discrimination body to reject the American request for my arrest. Therefore, my presence in Jordan is a legal right by judicial decision... When I got out of prison... I was hosted and welcomed by the King of Jordan [but] all these privileges were systematically taken from me - and my husband was expelled. Therefore, I am not honored as a Palestinian-Jordanian activist on Jordanian soil. On the contrary, I was separated from my husband and my family life was disrupted. They do not want to return my husband to me. I do not work in the media... and have been subjected to unjustified persecution for which there is no convincing reason. Therefore, through the Shehab Agency, I want to speak and send a message and appeal to the King of Jordan to look into my grievances. So the King of Jordan: in history, when a woman appealed to the Caliph al-Mutasim... he answered her call and got her out of prison. Therefore, King of Jordan... Respond to my call to return my husband to reunite my family by directing your decision to the concerned authorities... As a helpless Jordanian woman, return my husband to me as we enter the holy month of Ramadan. I hope to receive an appeal through Al-Shehab Agency to listen and that this family will be reunited. May God bless you to send my message through this platform on International Women's Day, when I am exposed to great darkness on Jordanian soil... [Source: Video interview of Ahlam Tamimi with Shehab Agency via Twitter]
There's much Arabic social media coverage of Tamimi's cries from the "darkness" of Jordan these past few days. And of her efforts to attract synpathy for what she calls the loss of "family stability".

Not so much in English. Middle East Monitor, a news platform that uses the revealing motto "Creating New Perspectives", offers a version ["Activist: Jordan is putting pressure on freed prisoner, Ahlam Tamimi", Macrh 10, 2023] that's notable for its distortions, deletions and sloppiness with the facts.

Here's how it describes Tamimi and what got her famous:

On 9 August 2001, a Palestinian man broke into a pizza restaurant in occupied Jerusalem and blew himself up, killing 15 people including two American citizens, one of whom was Malki Roth, an Israeli-American woman. 
Tamimi was arrested for her alleged involvement in the operation weeks later and was sentenced to 16 life sentences. She was released in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Palestinian factions. She currently lives in Jordan.
Last year, a document issued by the Interpol revealed that Tamimi's name had been removed from its wanted list.
In 1995, the United States and Jordan signed an extradition treaty, but in 2017, Jordan's high court blocked Tamimi's extradition, since the treaty was never ratified.
In 2013, the Justice Department included Tamimi on the FBI's most wanted list and charged her with "conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against Americans outside the United States". [Source]

About their "New Perspectives" it's worth noting that:

  • the unnamed "Palestinian man" didn't break into a pizza restaurant but walked in through the unguarded front entrance. 
  • His name was Al-Masri and he was carrying an explosives-filled guitar-case on his back. He was decapitated by the explosion which killed 15 innocent patrons inside the pizzeria and left a sixteenth, a young mother, unconscious until today. About 130 other people were injured, many of them horribly. Among the victims were several US citizens. 
  • Tamimi accompanied the human bomb to the doomed pizzeria by bus and taxi from Ramallah and then fled to safety before he and the building exploded. The pizzeria was chosen as her target by Tamimi because of the large number of Jewish children it attracted at lunch-times. The children were in no sense caught up in the crossfire; their murders were the reason for the atrocity.  
  • Most of those murdered were children. The Middle East Monitor people seem not to regard that as worth reporting. Given their outlook, we understand why they would fail to mention it. A small point, really. 
  • Alleged involvement? Tamimi admitted every aspect of her "alleged involvement" to the Israeli court that heard the charges against her in 2003. She pleaded guilty. In the years since then Tamimi has repeatedly recounted - with undisguised enthusiasm and often in front of cameras - the details of the massacre she spearheaded and painstakingly plotted. 
  • This doesn't stop the editors of this not-so-classy piece of journalism from referring to Tamimi as "freed prisoner" as if that's why she's in the news. 
  • Jordan's Court of Cassation ruled on March 20, 2017, almost exactly six years ago, that the Jordan/US treaty was void because of an alleged technical flaw created exclusively by Jordan (and, assuming it exists, curable by Jordan). That court ruling is contradicted by documnts we received via a Freedom of Information Act suit we filed against the US State Department in a US federal district court. It's also challenged by the official position of the US which is that Jordan remains bound by the treaty
  • Tamimi was added to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list in 2017, not in 2013. She is still there. 
  • That's because the United States indicted her (or to be more precise - issued a criminal complaint against her) six years ago. The Middle East Monitor report somehow overlooks that element. Their report makes no sense at all without mentioning it. 
  • Tamimi's name was never removed from Interpol's wanted list. Interpol doesn't have a wanted list. The Middle East Monitor people have made the same erroneous and misleading claim in the past. Interpol provides information to police forces. It doesn't pursue criminals or issue warrants for their arrest or prosecute them.

Tamimi's crusade for sympathy and the exercise of her rights as a Jordanian woman is getting wide and noisy support in Jordan where the Royal Hashemite Court and much of the population are engaged this weekend in a wedding celebration

We're tracking this as it continues to unfold.

[UPDATE March 21, 2023: Something's moving. Tamimi has made at least six public appearances in the past 12 day, up to and including yesterday. They have been either in person before live audiences or via media, or in some cases both. After a lengthy period of relative silence, she is now speaking publicly in strongly critical tones that veer into open disrespect for Jordan's ruler and the Hashemite Court. Her rhetoric focuses on the disrespect to her rights. Yes, the fugitive murderer wants her rights to be better respected and she is making sure public audiences know this. More details as we assemble them.]  

No comments: