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INTERPOL Drops Red Notice for Ahlam Tamimi

Ahlam Tamimi, A woman charged with orchestrating a terrorist attack that caused 15 deaths in Jerusalem, had her Red Notice erased and her name removed from INTERPOL's 'Most Wanted' list after a lengthy legal battle. The Palestinian terrorist is known for her contribution to the 2001 suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizza parlor in Jerusalem. Due to the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011 that released 1,047 detainees, Tamimi is no longer in prison serving dozens of life sentences. Instead, she lives in Jordan. In 2013, the U.S. Justice Department filed criminal charges against Tamimi, but the country is refusing to extradite her to the U.S. for trial.

While INTERPOL dropped the Red Notice, she remains on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “most wanted terrorist” list. Nizar Tamimi, also known as a convicted murder in Palestine and Ahlam Tamimi’s husband, wrote on Facebook, “Our struggle will continue until her file is completely closed, and we will meet after our prolonged separation and enjoy the free, stable life for which we have yearned.” According to him, Ahlam's record has not been completely cleared yet. It took a year and a half to get her Red Notice erased, and he has vowed to continue until her name has been cleared.

Many are unhappy, including the father of Sbarro bombing victim Malki Roth, who claimed that INTERPOL’s actions were blunt and unwelcome. He pledged, “My wife and I will not give up in our efforts to see this loathsome person — the embodiment of murderous bigotry — eventually brought to justice to answer for her crimes.”

A letter was also sent to INTERPOL’s secretary-general by Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director for International Relations. In the letter, Dr. Samuels urges the INTERPOL sectary general to reverse the decision claiming that Tamimi has never shown remorse for her actions and only claims pride. “Palestinian abuses of international organizations — political, legal, cultural, educational — have turned them into battlefields,” he said. “We have heard that INTERPOL has removed Al-Tamimi from its ‘Most Wanted list.’ Such an outrageous step would encourage further terrorism and deny justice and closure for the victims and survivors.”

It is important to note that, while many outlets are reporting that INTERPOL dropped an 'international arrest warrant' against Tamimi, this in fact is not accurate. As INTERPOL itself states, a Red Notice “is not an international arrest warrant.” Rather, a Red Notice is “simply to inform all member countries that the person is wanted based on an arrest warrant or equivalent judicial decision issued by a country or an international tribunal.” To learn more about Red Notices and how they are used, visit our website.

Written by, Rita Daniel, Legal Intern

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