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Justice News

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Superseding Indictment Returned Charging Naturalized U.S. Citizen with Procuring Her Naturalization Unlawfully

A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment against Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 69, of Chicago on charges of procuring her naturalization unlawfully by failing to disclose that she had been convicted of participating in a terrorist bombing, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Steve Francis, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations. 

The superseding indictment alleges that in 2004, Odeh obtained her naturalization contrary to law, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1425(a).  Odeh previously was indicted on the same charge, and in 2014 was convicted.  Following a remand by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court in Detroit last week granted Odeh a new trial.  The retrial will proceed based on the new indictment.

The new indictment does not add any additional charges, but alleges additional facts to support the charges. The original indictment charged that Odeh lied in seeking her naturalization as a United States citizen by failing to disclose that she had been arrested, charged, convicted and imprisoned in Israel, beginning in 1969, as a result of bombings of a supermarket and the British Consulate.  The new indictment includes those allegations as well, but also alleges that Odeh, in seeking naturalization, also falsely answered two additional questions on her application form relating to her association with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization.

The new indictment also alleges that Odeh was inadmissible at the time she arrived in the United States in 1995 because she “engaged in a terrorist activity” as that term is defined by law.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years imprisonment.  A trial has been scheduled for January 10, 2017, in Detroit. 

The indictment is merely a charge and is not any evidence of guilt.  At trial, it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated December 13, 2016