Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Department of Homeland Security allowed convicted terrorist to become US citizen

Naturalization ceremony

On October 10, 2014, Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 66, was convicted on immigration fraud charges for failing to disclose terrorism conviction to immigration officials. According to the indictment, Odeh was convicted in Israel for her role in the 1969 bombings of a supermarket and the British Consulate in Jerusalem. Those bombings were carried out on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine ("PFLP"), a designated terrorist organization. Odeh and her co-conspirators placed multiple bombs at the British Consulate and in a supermarket. One of the bombs placed at the supermarket detonated, killing two people and injuring several others. A bomb placed at the British Consulate caused structural damage to the facility.

Israeli military authorities sentenced Odeh to life imprisonment, but she was released after serving 10 years, as part of a prisoner exchange. After her release, Odeh returned to the West Bank. In 1995, Odeh immigrated to the United States, in spite of her terrorism conviction.

In 2004, the Department of Homeland Security failed to detect that Odeh was arrested, convicted and imprisoned overseas. It’s unclear how this case slipped through the cracks, since the fingerprints and criminal histories of immigrants applying for naturalization are typically subject to close scrutiny. The Department of Homeland Security has a duty to verify the applicants’ criminal history or lack thereof with their countries of origin. Arrests, convictions or imprisonment are considered to be material facts for the U.S. government in determining whether the applicant is qualified to obtain U.S. citizenship.