Rasmea Odeh, immigrant who lied about involvement in terrorist attacks, to be deported

Odeh's citizenship revoked

By Amber Ainsworth , Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®

DETROIT - An immigrant who has lived in the United States for 22 years was ordered Thursday in Detroit to be deported for obtaining her U.S. citizenship illegally.

The case

Rasmea Odeh, 70, a Chicago-area resident, was convicted overseas for participating in two terrorist bombings and for being a member of a group designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

“In 1969, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine conducted two bombings in Jerusalem, Israel,” acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch said. "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."

Lemisch said that in interviews, other participants named Odeh as the person who chose the supermarket as a target, scouted the area and placed the bomb.

She was sentenced to life in prison, but was released in 1979 as part of a prisoner exchange.

Odeh obtained her U.S. immigrant visa in 1994 and her citizenship in 2004. In both applications, she failed to disclose her arrest and convictions in the bombings.

She pleaded guilty to falsifying her immigration applications.

According to a plea agreement Odeh signed, she admitted that she lied about her criminal history.

Odeh’s sentencing

Supporters stood by Odeh as she was sentenced.

While in court, she told U.S. District Judge Gershiwn Drain, “Dreams were turned into a nightmare and Zionists killed women and children without consideration… and turned us into strangers in our own country.”

She also said, “The Israeli occupation of Palestine is a crime.”

The judge interrupted her three times to tell her that the case is about false statements only. He threatened her to contempt of the court.

When Odeh said her and her people are not terrorists, Drain told her, “This is not a political forum to fan the flames of the Palestinian and Israeli disputes.”

What’s next

Odeh lost her U.S. citizenship and will be deported to her home country of Jordan. She will be barred for life from re-entering the U.S.

Drain sentenced her to time served and suspended her bond. He said she is under Immigration and Customs Enforcement supervision until her deportation.

Drain also fined Odeh for $1,000 to show her that there are consequences for lying on immigration paperwork.

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