Woman to contest charges she hid Israeli terrorism conviction


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A woman convicted in Israel in connection with a 1969 terrorist bombing will contest charges that she concealed her past when immigrating to the United States.

Rasmieh Yousef Odeh on May 28 appeared in federal court in Detroit with a new lawyer to contest the charges.

The Associated Press reported that her lawyer, Michael Deutch, told the court her mental state when she applied to enter the United States in 1993 and then when she became a citizen in 2004 might be raised at trial.

Odeh was set to accept a plea agreement a week earlier when she fired her lawyer and hired Deutch.

The court set Oct. 21 as a trial date.

Odeh was arrested last October for failing to disclose her terror attack conviction in her immigration papers.

Israel jailed Odeh for life for her involvement in a number of Jerusalem bombings in 1969, including one at a supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students, Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe.

She was released in a prisoner exchange with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1980 and immigrated to the United States from Jordan in 1995.

The Illinois Department of Insurance last year briefly employed Odeh as a health care navigator, an official who assists people seeking health care options through the Affordable Care Act.

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