“I would explore all options to bring Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi to justice,” said Henry Wooster, the Trump administration’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Jordan.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
The United States is considering withholding aid to Jordan in an effort to force the extradition of Ahlam Tamimi, who is wanted for her participation in an August 9, 2001, suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem that wounded more than 120 people and killed 15, including two U.S. nationals.
“The United States has multiple options and different types of leverage to secure Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi’s extradition,” said Henry Wooster, the Trump administration’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Jordan, in answers to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee obtained by the Associated Press.
“We will continue to engage Jordanian officials at all levels not only on this issue, but also on the extradition treaty more broadly,” Wooster said. “U.S. generosity to Jordan in Foreign Military Financing as well as economic support and other assistance is carefully calibrated to protect and advance the range of U.S. interests in Jordan and in the region.”
When asked if aid to Jordan would be part of that leverage in the Tamimi case, Wooster replied, “If confirmed, I would explore all options to bring Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi to justice, secure her extradition, and address the broader issues associated with the extradition treaty.”
Jordan has rejected U.S. requests for Tamimi’s extradition. The issue is likely to be raised this week as Jordan’s King Abdullah II is scheduled to speak to several congressional committees about his opposition to Israeli plans of applying sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria.
Tamimi faces charges of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals outside the U.S., resulting in death. A warrant for her arrest was issued on July 15, 2013, and made public on March 14, 2017. If convicted, she could be sentenced to a maximum of life in prison or death.
Tamimi was arrested by Israel shortly after the 2001 attack. She pled guilty to multiple counts of murder and received 16 life sentences.
In 2011, Israel released 1,027 terrorists, including Tamimi, in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who had been held by Hamas since 2006.
Since her release, Tamimi has been living in Jordan. She has expressed pride in her involvement in the murder of Israelis and even became the host of a television program.
Tamimi is a member of one of Israel’s most notorious terror families. Her cousin is the father of soldier-slapping starlet Ahed Tamimi, whose blonde curls and on-camera exploits have earned her the nickname “Shirley Temper.”