Palestinian terrorist Rasmieh Odeh, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prision in Israel over 40 years ago for her involvement in bombing a supermarket in 1969, was convicted Monday of lying to immigration officials when she applied for residency and citizenship in the United States. Rasmieh once worked for the Arab-American Action Network, founded Rashid Khalidi, who was close to Barack and Michelle Obama in Chicago.
Odeh’s case had become a cause célèbre among anti-Israel activists, Palestinian groups and mainstream Arab-American organizations. The defense team–which reportedly turned down a plea bargain–attempted to turn the trial into a showcase of alleged Israeli abuses. Odeh has claimed, without proof, that her confession to Israeli authorities was obtained through the use of torture, including sexual and psychological torture.
However, the federal judge in the case confined the evidence to the question of whether Odeh had lied on her immigration forms, not whether she was guilty of the original terrorism charges of which she was convicted. The Investigative Project on Terrorism notes that Odeh and a fellow convicted terrorist have admitted on film to being involved in the supermarket bombing, which killed two Israeli civilians and injured several others.
A group calling itself the Rasmieh Defense Committee said that “the immigration charge was nothing but a pretext to attack this icon of the Palestine liberation movement,” the Detroit Free Press reports. However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security disagreed, noting that Rasmieh had obtained residency illegally. Israeli victims’ rights attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who sues Palestinian and other terror groups, also disagreed.
“This time, Odeh should serve a full sentence,” Darshan-Leitner told Breitbart News. Odeh had been freed by Israel in a prisoner exchange after serving 10 years of her original sentence.
Darshan-Leitner’s organization, Shurat HaDin, assisted U.S. prosecutors by obtaining documents from Odeh’s original case in Israel. The documents defeated Odeh’s original claim that she was not the person convicted of the supermarket bombing.
The Legal Insurrection blog posted video of Odeh addressing her supporters outside the courthouse after being convicted. “Thank you for supporting me,” she said. “We can’t fight for justice in such [a] place,” she added, smiling and waving a fist defiantly at the federal court building. “We will fight injustice in this world. We will fight injustice!” she shouted, as her supporters cheered. Odeh then led chants of “Yes we can! Yes we can!”
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak