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Palestinian-American woman arrested for lying about terrorist bombing in Israel

(JTA) — A naturalized American citizen of Palestinian descent could be deported for lying about her conviction in the deadly bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket.

Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 66, was arrested Tuesday in her suburban Chicago home on immigration charges and appeared in federal court in Chicago. She faces up to 10 years in prison for lying about her past in order to immigrate, and could be stripped of her U.S. citizenship.

Odeh was convicted in Israel in 1970 and sentenced to life in prison for her participation in the 1969 bombings of a Jerusalem supermarket and the British consulate. The supermarket attack on a busy Friday killed two and injured several others; the consulate bomb failed to detonate.

Israeli authorities said the attacks were planned by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which the United States designated as a terrorist organization in 1995.

Odeh was released in 1980 in a prisoner exchange between Israel and the Popular Front in which Israel freed 76 prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured in Lebanon.

She came to the United States from Jordan in 1995 and became a naturalized citizen in 2004, according to the federal indictment.

Odeh was freed after posting bond and will next appear in a Detroit courtroom, since that is where she received her citizenship, according to The Associated Press. She has been ordered not to leave the country.

On her application for immigrant status, Odeh said she had lived in Amman, Jordan, from 1948 onward. She also answered no to a question that asked if she had ever been arrested, convicted or been in prison, and if she had ever been the beneficiary of a pardon or an amnesty.

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