FOUR years to the day after the US announced charges against the terrorist who masterminded a suicide bombing in which an Australian teenager was killed, the victim’s parents have urged President Joe Biden to take action.
Their plea came as Arab media reported that Interpol had dropped its arrest warrant for the terrorist, allowing law enforcement agencies in its member states to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition.
Malki Roth was one of 15 people who died – seven of them children – in the blast at Jerusalem’s Sbarro pizza restaurant in August 2001.
Sentenced to 16 consecutive life terms in an Israeli jail, Ahlam Tamimi, who drove the bomber to the restaurant, was released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. She now lives in Jordan where, according to Malki’s father, Arnold, she is feted as a celebrity, boasting about those she helped kill.
On March 14, 2017, she was charged in the US with murdering two Americans – Malki having dual citizenship, being one of them – and added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list.
But despite an extradition treaty being signed in 1995 between the US and Jordan – one of the three largest recipients in the world of US aid – she is living freely in Jordan.
“Why has Tamimi still not been brought to justice?” Arnold and his wife Frimet asked this week.
“How can this boastful and unrepentant killer of children stay free under the protection of a kingdom so massively dependent on generous US support and backing? Where is the pressure? What price is Jordan being made to pay for its incredible obstructiveness?”
In a video uploaded on Sunday, Frimet appealed to President Biden, “Please sir, do what needs to be done so this evil woman is arrested and faces justice in Washington.”
The sentiment was echoed by Arnold, who said, “We urge President Biden to make clear to Jordan’s King Abdullah II that he and his kingdom must comply with the legal, diplomatic and moral obligation of extraditing the murderer of American citizens.
“Not only has Jordan defied American law by harbouring Tamimi, Jordan has never publicly condemned her or what she did. That is intolerable.”
Meanwhile, responding to news that Tamimi’s name had been removed from Interpol’s Red List, the Roths pledged that they would not give up in their efforts “to see this loathsome person – the embodiment of murderous bigotry – eventually brought to justice to answer for her crimes”.
A petition launched by the Roths in 2020 calling upon Washington to act has so far received more than 14,000 signatures.
To sign the petition, visit change.org/extraditetamimi.