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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Prison & Deportation for Hiding Terror Conviction

DETROIT (CN) - A woman who immigrated to the United States without disclosing a past terrorism conviction must serve 18 months in prison, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

Jurors had found Chicago-based Rasmieh Yousef Odeh guilty this past November of fraudulently procuring her U.S. citizenship.

U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain revoked 67-year-old Odeh's U.S. citizenship as part of her 18-month sentence Thursday, ordering the woman removed and deported to Jordan.

The execution of these orders is stayed pending Odeh's appeal of the conviction.

Odeh, who became a leader in Chicago's Palestinian community after immigrating to the United States in 1995, remains free on bond pending her appeal.

Though Odeh was naturalized as a citizen in 2004, the indictment against her took issue with her failure to mention in immigration papers that she was arrested and convicted decades earlier by an Israeli military court for participating in three bombings in Israel, one of which killed two people.

Odeh has long maintained that she never committed the crimes. In 1971 she testified before the United Nations that the Israeli military tortured her to confess to the bombings.

Interrogators allegedly attempted to force her father to have sex with her, and beat her while she was shackled naked, legs spread-eagled, to the ceiling, the Hill reported.

There is no mention of those claims in the Justice Department's press release Thursday about Odeh's sentencing.

It notes "Odeh was convicted in Israel for her role in the 1969 bombings of a supermarket and the British Consulate in Jerusalem, which were carried out on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization."

"Odeh and others placed multiple bombs at the British Consulate and in a supermarket," the press release continues. "One of the bombs placed at the supermarket detonated, killing two and injuring others. A bomb placed at the consulate caused structural damage to the facility."

Though Israeli military authorities sentenced Odeh to life imprisonment, she was released after 10 years as part of a prisoner exchange, at which time she returned to the West Bank.

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