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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Individual Convicted Overseas of Being Terrorist Who Participated In The 1969 British Consulate, Supermarket Bombings In Jerusalem Pleads Guilty To Lying To Obtain U.S. Citizenship

A naturalized United States citizen, who was convicted overseas for having been a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has been designated a Terrorist Organization by the United States government, and also was convicted for participation in two terrorist bombings, pleaded guilty today to having obtained her United States citizenship unlawfully, acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch announced.


Joining Lemisch in the announcement was Steve Francis, Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.


Entering the guilty plea was Rasmieh Yousef Odeh,69, a Chicago-area resident.


Acting U.S. Attorney 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.”


Odeh obtained a United States immigrant visa in 1994 and has lived in the United States for the last 22 years. In 2004, she obtained United States citizenship. A


According to the plea agreement signed by Odeh and accepted by the court, Odeh admitted that she lied about her criminal history, by falsely denying that she ever had been arrested, charged with a crime, convicted, or imprisoned. Odeh admitted today that she had omitted her Israeli arrest, charge, conviction and imprisonment from her United States naturalization application even though she knew she was required to disclose them. Odeh also admitted that ’At the time she made the false statements, Defendant knew the statements were false, and that she made the false statements intentionally and not as a result of any mistake, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or any other psychological issue or condition, as she had previously claimed in court proceedings, or for any innocent reason. Odeh also admitted that at the time she made the false statements, she knew that it was unlawful for her to provide false information to the United States government in connection with her application for Immigrant Visa and her application for naturalization. Had Odeh revealed the truth about her criminal history, as she was required to by law, she never would have been granted an immigrant visa, admitted to the United States, allowed to live here for the last 22 years, or granted United States citizenship.


As a result of her conviction for having obtained naturalization unlawfully, Odeh will be stripped of her United States citizenship when she is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain. Sentencing was set for August 17, 2017 at 2pm. As part of the plea agreement, Odeh agreed to a judicial order of removal, under which she will be deported to her nation of citizenship, Jordan, and will not be allowed to reenter the United States.


“The United States will never be a safe haven for individuals seeking to distance themselves from their pasts,” said Steve Francis, 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.”


The maximum sentence for the offense is ten years, of which Odeh already has served about five weeks. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Odeh will not face additional imprisonment but will be removed from the United States following sentencing.


Acting U.S. Attorney Lemisch commended Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and particularly Special Agent Stephen A. Webber, for the outstanding investigation which led to Odeh’s conviction. The prosecution was conducted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Tukel and Michael C. Martin.

Updated April 25, 2017