March 23, 2017 Special Dispatch No. 6842

Palestinian-Jordanian Terrorist Ahlam Al-Tamimi To Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood Mouthpiece: 'As Long As The Zionists Remain On Our Land, The Jihad Must Continue'

March 23, 2017
Jordan, Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 6842

Following a March 20, 2017 decision by the Amman Court of Cassation to reject a U.S. request for her extradition,[1] Palestinian-Jordanian Hamas terrorist Ahlam Al-Tamimi gave an interview, on March 22, 2017, to the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) mouthpiece Al-Sabil.

On March 14, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice had announced that Ahlam Al-Tamimi was being charged in the U.S. with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals outside the U.S., resulting in death. The charge is related to her participation in the August 2001 suicide bomb attack at the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem that killed 15 people, including two U.S. nationals. In connection with the bombing, Al-Tamimi had been sent to prison in Israel in 2003 for 16 life sentences, but was released as part of the 2011 Israel-Hamas Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. Since then she has lived in Jordan, whose constitution forbids extradition of Jordanian nationals. The same day, the FBI announced that she had been placed on its list of Most Wanted Terrorists.[2]

A few days after the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI announcements and extradition request, Al-Tamimi tweeted: "If USA afraid about its citizens, mustn't sending them to Palestine."[3]

Al-Tamimi's tweet in response to the U.S. extradition request.

In the Al-Sabil interview, Al-Tamimi expressed surprise at the U.S. extradition request, saying that she had been unaware that the victims of the attack included two Americans. She stated that she had launched a legal campaign, which she referred to as a "jihad," and clarified that she would not agree to being rearrested. She said, "Our war with the Zionist enemy is an ideological war from the days of the Prophet Muhammad to now," and called on Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli prisons to be strong, persevere, and continue on the path of jihad. She added: "As long as the Zionists remain on our land, the jihad must continue." Addressing the Palestinian and Jordanian women, she urged them to continue raising the next generation, which, she said, would liberate Palestine. She praised the Jordanian court's rejection of the extradition request and thanked the Jordanian authorities, but added that there would be assassination attempts against her and said that she considered them responsible for her safety.

Al-Tamimi in Al-Sabil interview

Following are excerpts from her Al-Sabil interview:

Question: "How did Ahlam Al-Tamimi receive the news about the U.S. authorities' demand for her arrest, and their designation of her as a dangerous terrorist and criminal?"

Al-Tamimi: "...After my release as part of the released-prisoner deal, I lived my life normally, with my released-prisoner husband Nizar Al-Tamimi [also freed in the prisoner exchange]. We started a family, completed our studies, and then began [looking] for work. We led the normal life that was denied us when we were in the Zionist prisons... When the Americans demanded to arrest me, I was surprised, because I didn't know that the victims [of the Sbarro bombing] included two Americans. I know that the Zionists came [to Israel] from all over the world and they had no [other] place, but I did not know the victims' nationalities.

"After the arrest warrant came from the U.S. court, we received word from Interpol that I had been placed on their most wanted list, and that they consider me a 'terrorist.' This announcement was distributed to all the world's airports, including Jordan's, which received the arrest [warrant] like every [other] country. Due to my presence in Jordan, the Jordanian Interpol office carried out the order to summon [me for interrogation]. I underwent an initial interrogation, and then the interrogation [report] was sent to the U.S. I told them that I had not known that the victims included two American citizens, and that I had only just found out about it then. The entire interrogation revolved around [the question of whether] I had known that Americans were present. The interrogation was completely concluded, and the case was transferred to the Jordanian court to be presented as part of the legal proceedings.

"I was surprised by the [U.S.] decision to file an [extradition] demand. We released prisoners do not complain, because we know that the path of jihad has many obstacles and many rewards, [but also] many tests. I placed my trust in Allah, but it was a shock and was accompanied by great rage, because I hate injustice and will not agree to be rearrested after incarceration in the Zionist enemy's prisons. I then launched my legal jihad, which is a different form of jihad, after the jihad in Palestine. It is my right to defend myself, because I feel injustice [was done to me]. This is a legal jihad procedure that I must win."

Question: "Did you expect to be extradited to the American legal system?"

'Al-Tamimi: "I had no knowledge of Jordanian law or of the nature of the proceedings, and extradition did not occur to me. In truth, after the assassination of Muhammad Al-Zoari in Tunisia,[4] I predicted [the possibility] that there would be an attempt [on my life as well], especially because of the attempt on the life of Mr. Khaled Mash'al in Jordan.[5] I still expect an attempt [on my life] because of the many hateful and inciting messages I receive on Twitter from activists in the U.S. and in the Zionist entity. Therefore, I must expect anything."

Question: "Some call you a terrorist who killed innocent people. What is your response?"

Al-Tamimi: "I received messages from Arabs and from Muslims [saying] that I murdered innocent people and that I must serve out my sentence in Jordanian prisons. I was very surprised at the level we have reached, but most [of those responding] supported and expressed solidarity with me. There is no doubt that the American thinking has influenced many people, and we must acknowledge something important – that the occupation isn't just about land, but is [also] an occupation of thought. This is the clandestine occupation at which the American side excels. The Zionist entity also tries to exert ideological influence, through organizations that believe in normalization, the rights of the other, and freedom of speech, and that focus on the younger generation. I pray to Allah to bring to those who call me a terrorist healing from this sick thought."

Question: "What have you to say to the prisoners?"

Al-Tamimi: "There are 7,500 prisoners in the occupation's prisons, including Arab prisoners [i.e. citizens of Arab countries], and 277 Jordanian prisoners. From the pages of your newspaper, I say to them that those who walk on the path of jihad should expect to be arrested or assassinated [by Israel]. Our war with the Zionists will not be brought to an end by means of arrests or martyrdom, and therefore as long as the Zionists remain on our land, the jihad must continue..."

Question: "What is Ahlam Al-Tamimi's message to the Palestinian mother, the Palestinian prisoner, and the Jordanian woman?"

Al-Tamimi: "Our war with the Zionist enemy is an ideological war, from the days of the Prophet Muhammad to this day. That is why we must establish a generation with principles and ideas, and as a result of this, we will succeed in liberating Palestine, and will win. I warned them against surrendering to ideas that are far removed from our religion and practices. We know that what is happening in Palestine makes it hard for everyone [there] – its men, its jihad fighters, and its prisoners. They must know that this requires even more strength and endurance. We must pay attention to the ideological war to which the youth is exposed through various social networks...

"My advice to every mother is: Believe in your idea and believe that your children are part of the generation of the coming liberation [of Palestine]. Therefore, [you] must have a clear educational vision, and you must believe deep down that your work [raising your children] is no less important than any jihad operation in Palestine. This is because a word or idea that you plant in your son could be the cause of real change in the future. The stronger and more established your belief in the idea, the more able you will be to make achievements and progress. Jordan is a vein of Palestine, and once you know that you wish to be a martyr on the land of Al-Ribat [the frontier zone of the war between Muslims and non-Muslims], you will have to struggle [to gain] this martyrdom. You must view all of your actions, whether in or out of the house, [as an act] for Allah... Additionally, the Jordanian woman should have great awareness of the Palestinian issue and of the war on Islam."

Question: "What do you have to say to the Jordanian authorities?"

Al-Tamimi: "Beyond the gratitude I expressed in the statement published in the media in my name and the name of my honorable family, I reitterate my trust in the just Jordanian legal system, which has spoken the truth. However, my message is that the Zionist entity seeks to harm me, and the reactions [in Israel reflect] displeasure with the Jordanian decision [against extraditing me to the U.S.]... I place the responsibility for protecting me on the [Jordanian] government, so that nothing is done on this good land [i.e. Jordan] by the Zionist entity – because the Jordanian state has sovereignty and borders, and any harm done to me is harm done to Jordan..."


[1] Al-Ghad (Jordan), March 20, 2017.

[4] Muhammad Al-Zoari, a Tunisian aviation engineer and drone expert, was killed on December 15, 2016 near his home in Sfax, Tunisia. Hamas attributed his killing to Israel. In its announcement of his death on its website, Hamas's Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades identified him as having "overseen the project of the Qassam drones (Ababil) which had been unveiled during the Israeli war on Gaza in 2014." Al-Zoari had also, according to Lebanese and other reports, helped Hizbullah develop drone technology. See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1300, A Decade Of Jihadi Organizations' Use Of Drones – From Early Experiments By Hizbullah, Hamas, And Al-Qaeda To Emerging National Security Crisis For The West As ISIS Launches First Attack Drones, February 21, 2017.

[5] In September 1997, the Mossad attempted to assassinate Hamas political bureau chairman Khaled Mash'al in Jordan. Mash'al was poisoned, but the Israeli agents were apprehended, forcing Israel to give Mash'al the antidote.

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