Convicted terrorist Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 69, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to immigration fraud charges and may soon be deported, according to ICE officials.
Odeh, who was born in Palestine and had become a naturalized U.S. citizen, was convicted in Israel for her role in the 1969 bombings of a supermarket and the British Consulate in Jerusalem in which two people were killed and others were injured.
After an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch stated, “In 1969, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine conducted two bombings in Jerusalem, Israel. One was at a Supersol supermarket, in which two individuals were killed and many more wounded. The second bombing was at the British Consulate. Defendant Odeh was arrested and charged with participation in the bombings, and in 1970 was convicted. She was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released in 1979 after ten years’ imprisonment, as part of a prisoner exchange.”
According to officials, Odeh came to the United States on an immigrant visa in 1994 and has lived here for the last 22 years. She obtained citizenship in 2004. However, she admitted in open court that she lied about her criminal history by falsely denying that she ever had been arrested, charged with a crime, convicted or imprisoned. She said that she had not disclosed the facts on her United States naturalization application regarding her Israeli arrest, charge, conviction and imprisonment even though she knew it was a requirement to do so.
She admitted that she lied, and that she knew very well that not disclosing her criminal history was illegal, and had she done so, she would not have been permitted to live in this country and become a citizen, ICE reported.
“The United States will never be a safe haven for individuals seeking to distance themselves from their pasts,” said Steve Francis, acting special agent in charge for HSI Detroit. “When individuals lie on immigration documents, the system is severely undermined and the security of our nation is put at risk.”
In the past several years, Odeh has become politically active and was one of the organizers of the nationwide Day Without A Woman march on March 8 of this year.
She had already been convicted of immigration fraud in 2014, but appealed, claiming she had PTSD, and was able to receive a new trial. Instead of facing an 18-month prison term, it’s been reported that her defense team cut a deal that allows her be deported back to Palestine. Odeh reportedly said she wasn’t sure yet where she would go, but her attorney told U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain that Jordan had agreed to take her in.
“This is very unjust, very wrong,” Odeh muttered, wiping tears and embracing dozens of supporters as she left the courtroom. “That they can just send you away from this country after 24 years that I’ve been living here, it is wrong.”
Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 69, is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 17 and subsequently stripped of her U.S. citizenship and expelled from the country.
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