Palestinian Convicted Of U.S. Immigration Fraud Over Hidden Terror Conviction


us-citizenshipA Palestinian activist was convicted Monday of immigration fraud in Detroit for failing to disclose to U.S. immigration authorities a past conviction in Israel for a 1969 supermarket bombing in which two people were killed.

Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 67, was tried last week in federal court and convicted of unlawful procurement of naturalization, said a spokesman for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Odeh could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and will likely lose her U.S. citizenship.

Odeh immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. While in the U.S. she has worked as the associate director of the Arab American Action Network, a community organization in Chicago. Prior to immigrating to the U.S., Odeh, along with members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, were convicted in Israel for the supermarket bombing and for placing another bomb at the British Consulate in Jerusalem.

U.S. federal prosecutors accused Odeh of failing to disclose her past criminal history when she arrived in the U.S. from Jordan and when she became an American citizen in 2004.

When she testified at her trial, she claimed that she was not aware of having to disclose any criminal history relating to her life prior to arriving in the U.S. Jennifer Williams, the immigration officer who had interviewed Odeh, testified that she always clearly tells immigration applicants that criminal history applies to “anywhere in the world.”

“I think your verdict is a fair and reasonable one based on the evidence that came in,” U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain told the jury after the verdict was announced, the Associated Press reported.