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Jordanian Woman Charged in Terror Attack That Killed Two Americans

The U.S. charged a Jordanian woman Monday with taking part in a 2001 suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem that killed 15 people, including two Americans. Federal authorities said they would seek to bring her to the US to face charges.

Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi was charged with conspiring to use a bomb against U.S. nationals overseas. Prosecutors said that on August 9, 2001, she drove a suicide bomber, who carried a guitar case with explosives inside, to a busy area of downtown Jerusalem and gave instructions to detonate the device in a crowded area.

Image: Ahlam Ahmad Al-Tamimi
Ahlam Ahmad Al-Tamimi has been charged with participating in an August 9, 2001, suicide bomb attack at a pizza restaurant in Jerusalem that killed 15 people, including two United States nationals. FBI

The bomb was set off in a Sbarro pizza restaurant with enormous force. Seven of those killed were children, including one of the American victims.

Four other Americans were among the 122 others hurt in the attack.

“Al-Tamimi is an unrepentant terrorist who admitted to her role in a deadly terrorist bombing that injured and killed numerous innocent victims,” said Mary McCord of the Justice Department's National Security Division.

Documents filed in court said Al-Tamimi was living in the West Bank in the summer of 2001, attending school and working at a television station. Prosecutors said she agreed that summer to carry out attacks on behalf of the military wing of Hamas.

Al-Tamimi pleaded guilty in an Israeli court in 2003 and was sentenced to a term of 16 years to life. But after serving eight years, she was released in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas and returned to Jordan.

Jordan does not extradite its citizens. But a Justice Department statement said the U.S. "has worked and will continue to work with its foreign partners to obtain custody of Al-Tamimi so she can be held accountable for her role in the terrorist bombing."

The FBI Monday placed her on its list of Most Wanted Terrorists.