Ahlam Tamimi, a Hamas terrorist sentenced to 16 life sentences for her involvement in the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria suicide bombing in Jerusalem, says that she has “gained strength” since she was released from prison in October 2011 and moved to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera, which was translated from Arabic into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Tamimi explains how release and the release of her husband “brought great joy and was the beginning of our new life, after the Zionist entity had sentenced us to life in prison.”
However, she said that recently, the American authorities are demanding she be extradited to the United States and tried there.
“The issue has shaken our lives to some extent,” she told Al-Jazeera. But she said that being in Jordan protects her.
“Jordan does not have an extradition agreement with the United States. This led to the issuing of a legal decision refusing my extradition, and Jordan’s position on that matter is very clear,” she said.
Further, she told Al-Jazeera that she is not a terrorist.
“Why am I, Ahlam, considered to be a terrorist, when I am part of a movement for freedom and liberation?” she asked. “I am part of a resistance movement that strives for liberation.”
Tamimi’s interview was conducted on March 28 and aired on the Al-Jazeera website. It was not aired on its TV channel.
The August 9, 2001 Sbarro bombing has also been referred to as the Sbarro massacre. The event left 15 civilians murdered, including seven children and a pregnant American woman, and 130 wounded.
Those killed included Malki Roth, 15, an American-Israeli citizen for whom the Malki Foundation is named; Giora Balash, 60, of Brazil; Zvika Golombek, 26, of Carmiel; Shoshana Yehudit Greenbaum, 31, of the US; Tehila Maoz, 18, of Jerusalem; Frieda Mendelsohn, 62, of Jerusalem; Michal Raziel, 16, of Jerusalem; Mordechai Schijveschuurder, 43, of Neria; Tzira Schijveschuurder, 41, of Neria; Ra'aya Schijveschuurder, 14, of Neria; Avraham Yitzhak Schijveschuurder, 4, of Neria; Hemda Schijveschuurder, 2, of Neria; Lily Shimashvili, 33, of Jerusalem; Tamara Shimashvili, 8, of Jerusalem; and Yocheved Shoshan, 10, of Jerusalem.
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
Tamimi is currently wanted by the US government for conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against US nationals abroad, and the FBI, which considers her to be armed and dangerous, has placed Tamimi on its list of most wanted terrorists and offers a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to her arrest or conviction.