Palestinian-American going on trial in U.S. over bombing conviction


(JTA) — A trial date was set for a naturalized American citizen of Palestinian descent who is accused of concealing a conviction in terrorist bombings in Israel.

Rasmieh Yousef Odeh will go to trial in U.S. District Court in Detroit on Nov. 4, but not with the original presiding judge. Paul Borman withdrew from the case last month after learning his family had a financial stake in the Jerusalem supermarket bombed in the terrorist attack.

In July, attorneys for Odeh filed a motion to recuse Borman because of his Jewish community ties. Borman and his wife have donated at least $3 million to the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

Odeh, the associate director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, 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. She was arrested last October in Chicago.

She 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, when she was 22. The supermarket attack 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. She came to the United States from Jordan in 1995 and became a naturalized citizen in 2004, according to the federal indictment.

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