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Feds expand immigration fraud indictment of convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh

Feds expand immigration fraud indictment of convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh

New factual allegations will make it easier to convict Rasmea at her new trial.

We reported the other day how Rasmea Odeh gets new trial in immigration fraud case.

Rasmea  is the terrorist member of the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who was convicted in Israel in 1970 of the 1969 bombing of the SuperSol supermarket in Jerusalem that killed two Hebrew University students, Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner. Rasmea also was convicted of the attempted bombing of the British Consulate.

Rasmea was released in 1979 in a prisoner exchange for an Israeli soldier captured in Lebanon.

Rasmea made her way to the U.S. in the mid-1990s, where she lied on her visa application by denying any prior convictions or imprisonment, and again in her 2003 naturalization application when she repeated the same false answer. For more background, and how Rasmea’s supporters have distorted history, see Rasmea Odeh rightly convicted of Israeli supermarket bombing and U.S. immigration fraud and Rasmea Odeh’s victims – then and now.

Rasmea was convicted of immigration fraud in federal court in Detroit in November 2014, sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered deported after release from prison. The appeals court sent the case back down to the trial court to determine whether Rasmea should have been permitted to call an expert witness in the first trial.

The basis of the new trial was Rasmea being granted the right to call an expert witness at trial to testify that Rasmea did not “knowingly” answer questions falsely on immigration forms because she suffered PTSD as a result of alleged Israeli torture in 1969. That PTSD, Rasmea’s expert will claim, caused her to “filter” questions about whether she “EVER” (bold and CAPS on original form) had been convicted or imprisoned, such that “EVER” was interpreted as covering only the time since Rasmea arrived in the U.S. in the mid-1990s.

It’s a thoroughly dishonest defense which should not have been allowed, but the court will let her present the expert testimony. Please see that prior post for background on Rasmea’s conviction and imprisonment, and false answers.

The new trial was scheduled for January 10,2017.

The defense, however, just filed a motion to postpone (pdf. here, full embed at end of post) the trial because a new, superseding 18-page indictment had been obtained against Rasmea.

The substance of the motion states, in full:

1. Counsel was just informed that the govenunent has obtained an 18 page superseding indictment against Ms, Odeh adding additional allegations
and charges.

2. Counsel will need time to study the indictment, investigate and research the claims made therein and explore possible motions and defenses, as
well as arrange for out of state witnesses schedules to be present at a new trial.

3. Counsel has been making concentrated efforts to comply with the Court’s prior Oders, including filing all pre-trial motions by tomorrow, December
14, 2016.

4. The prosecution through AUSA Jonathan Tucke!, has notified counsel that it will not object to a reasonable continuance of the trial date.

While the Superseding Indictment has not been filed in the court docket yet, the US Attorney’s office has issued a press release which is embedded at the end of this post (pdf. here). The key section of the press release states (emphasis added):

A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment against Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 69, of Chicago on charges of procuring her naturalization unlawfully by failing to disclose that she had been convicted of participating in a terrorist bombing, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade

… The retrial will proceed based on the new indictment.

The new indictment does not add any additional charges, but alleges additional facts to support the charges. The original indictment charged that Odeh lied in seeking her naturalization as a United States citizen by failing to disclose that she had been arrested, charged, convicted and imprisoned in Israel, beginning in 1969, as a result of bombings of a supermarket and the British Consulate. The new indictment includes those allegations as well, but also alleges that Odeh, in seeking naturalization, also falsely answered two additional questions on her application form relating to her association with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization. The new indictment also alleges that Odeh was inadmissible at the time she arrived in the United States in 1995 because she “engaged in a terrorist activity” as that term is defined by law.

This is an extremely important expansion of the Indictment, even though it doesn’t expand the number of charges.

The entire line of PTSD defense — which never should have been permitted but was in the order granting a new trial — only addresses Rasmea “filtering” out her conviction and imprisonment because of alleged torture (which the government disputes). But she told other lies on her immigration forms that had nothing whatsoever to do with the alleged torture and PTSD, namely her membership in a terrorist organization. That lie is provable by the government without even getting into her conviction of the bombings.

Similarly, referencing engaging “in a terrorist activity” is much broader and easier to prove, and does not depend on the legitimacy of her Israeli conviction.

So, this is a very important move for the prosecution, and makes the PTSD defense much less critical to the case. It also signals that the attempts by Rasmea supporters recently to bully the US Attorneys office with a flood of phone calls had no effect. The prosecution appears ready to see this case to the end.


Rasmieh Odeh Case – Defense Motion to Postpone Trial 12-13-2016 by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


Rasmieh Odeh Case – US Atty Press Release on Superceding Indictment by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


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“New factual allegations will make it easier to convict Rasmea at her new trial.”


Importantly, adding the allegation that she participated in terrorist activity makes the details of what she did admissible, thus avoiding the appeals court’s criticism of the jury having been unduly swayed by being told about her victims.

Under the old indictment that was a valid criticism, because it shouldn’t have mattered what her Israeli arrest and conviction was for. The jury should simply have been told that she’d done time in an Israeli prison, and as far as they knew it could have been for removing the tag from a mattress. So telling them that in fact she had brutally murdered two innocent people was irrelevant and undue influence. Now that terrorism is part of her indictment they can be told about this.

    garybkatz in reply to Milhouse. | December 18, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    The allegation that she belonged to a terrorist organization is even more important, because it prevents her from raising her BS torture defense.

The prosecution appears ready to see this case to the end.

Which, the way they’re going, should be some time around 2050 or so.

    Arminius in reply to tom swift. | December 13, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    If she can’t bail herself out, I have no problem with 2050.

    Arminius in reply to tom swift. | December 13, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Or if it comes down to it conditions of bond, which aren’t necessarily a picnic.

    tom swift in reply to tom swift. | December 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Seriously, this looks very bad.

    At least from the exhaustive descriptions we’ve received from Prof Jacobson’s tireless fingers, this should not be a tough case.

    Yet this thug has the American justice system thoroughly tangled up in its own underwear, with little sign of approaching resolution.

    To the extent that justice delayed is justice denied, this has all been an embarrassment. So fer crissakes, get on with it.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to tom swift. | December 14, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      No, this is in the state it is in because of one cowardly Judge who let himself be intimidated into letting this woman have a 2nd shot, instead of making the obvious correct decision, but that’s his prerogative.

I am not lawyer. As a collateral duty I was a legal officer in the USN. OMF; “Outrage of Modesty” of a female. That will get you put on legal hold in Singapore. I’ve had the privilege if you want to put it that way of meeting more than a few Sailors who found out the hard way that the law still applied in the collection of bars and discos at the mall on Orchard Road that we affectionately called “Four Floors of Whores.”

    audax in reply to Arminius. | December 14, 2016 at 3:50 am

    I know that bar! Lived in Singapore for 5 years, great place, never worried for my safety even in that bar with “Four Floors of Whores.”….LOL!

      Arminius in reply to audax. | December 14, 2016 at 10:50 am

      I preferred to hang out at Clarke Quay. It was about 20 years ago, but I think my favorite place was called the Jungle Hut. It was an open – air bar with a thatched roof. I also used to hang out at another place where the bartender, after he found out I was in the Navy, told me he was ex – Republic of Singapore special forces.

      I was sitting there thinking, “Of course you were.”

      Apparently I’m the only guy who ever served who was never special forces. I’m intel, and I don’t even have a “My three days with the SEALs” story to sell.

      I was riding in USS Dubuque for some exercise off of Pohang, I forget which, and I kinda sorta worked with the SEALs. In that, they needed stuff like pens and paper to do their mission planning. And I made sure they got them.

      Oh, yeah, a SEAL gave me a black eye on Kadena. We had just finished Cobra Gold and had pulled into White Beach on Okinawa. So I had to get to Kadena, and the only vehicle I could find belonged to the SEALs. It was a six-by, so there was plenty of room.

      The SEALs entertained me the whole way by trying to gross me out. Apparently they don’t know how twisted submariners are, because I had already seen it.

      We get to Kadena AFB, and there’s a Navy air base integrated into it. So me and the two SEAL officers walk into Navy lodging to get a room. I’m first in line, and the girl behind the counter tells me there are no rooms available. So the next SEAL O, a lieutenant just like me, steps up and asks for a room.

      She gushes, “You guys are SEALs?!!!” They score the Captain’s suite.

      I’m like, “Is it OK if I sleep on your couch?”

      So now we’re buds. And after dropping our bags off in the Freaking CAPTAIN’S SUITE we head to the Kadena O club. Where it shortly becomes obvious after a dozen or so drinks we are going to get kicked out. Actually, the Air Force O-6 who yelled at us let us know the issue was not in doubt. So I sez to the SEALs, “Maybe this kind of thing gets you promoted in SPECWAR, but not in my community.” And I pay my share of the bill plus tip and head out to snake alley.

      Later, and I have no idea how they got away with it, maybe some USAF security police were as taken with SEALs as the girl behind the counter at the BOQ, we get back together at the freaking CAPTAIN’S SUITE. And now they’re hungry, so we’re going to make rice. And one of the SEAL’s starts handing me the rice making utensils in rapid succession, because of course I’m going to help. Because we’re now buds. His name was Gino, if that matters.

      And I miss a beat and I catch a plate to the eye. And to this day I regret I have no permanent scar from the incident.

“It also signals that the attempts by Rasmea supporters recently to bully the US Attorneys office with a flood of phone calls had no effect.”

In fact it may have pissed them off more, lol.

Is she out on bail, or was she/is she jailed awaiting all of these new trials ??? ABJ

Fast low flying helicopter, foreign soil, show her to the door, problem solved.

Makes you wonder why this info wasn’t ready by prosecutors the first go around at trial and why this got dug out for use only now? Oh yeah, the Attorney General’s office is gonna get a new boss soon. The new AG’s boss (Trump) is big on illegal immigration. Better make it look like we’re trying again if we want to keep our jobs.

    Milhouse in reply to pwaldoch. | December 14, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    What do you mean by “this info wasn’t ready”? What info wasn’t ready? There is no new information in this indictment, merely extra counts. Why didn’t they include these in the original indictment? Because they didn’t think they needed to. Why go into the whole question of what she did, when the fact of her conviction was unassailable. They didn’t anticipate the line the defense took, or that any court would give it the time of day; and indeed the trial judge thought it so ridiculous he didn’t even allow the defense to try it, which is what got the appeals court all worked up.

What I hope the judge finally says to Odeh: