Woman faces immigration charges for Israel bombing - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Convicted Palestinian terrorist found living in Evergreen Park

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Rasmieh Odeh leaves court Rasmieh Odeh leaves court
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A woman of Palestinian descent was arrested Tuesday at her suburban home and hit with immigration fraud charges. Federal authorities accuse her of lying on her immigration papers about her conviction in a deadly bombing 40 years ago.

The charges against Rasmieh Odeh-- and her background --came as a shock to friends, co-workers and neighbors. Investigators say the 66-year-old social worker kept a low profile and even used different names through the years to hide her secret past.

Rasmieh Odeh left court without commenting about the current charges or her past connection to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

She served 10 years in an Israeli prison for two backpack bombings in Jerusalem in 1969 tied to the PFLP. One at a supermarket killed two people and injured 20; the other damaged the British Consulate.

Odeh was arrested at her apartment in the 9700-block of South Kedzie in Evergreen Park. She is charged with lying about her past when she applied to become a Naturalized Citizen, which was granted in 2004 in Detroit. Neighbors were shocked to learn of her past.

Friends say Odeh had been active in Palestinian causes and protests, and worked at the Arab American Action Network. They question why she was targeted, suggesting it may be her connection to people involved with the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.

3 years ago, 23 people in Chicago and Minneapolis had their homes raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into alleged support and funding of terrorist organizations in Palestine.

Hatem Abudayyah was among those and is Odeh's boss.

"It's ridiculous and we are very very angry, not only her colleagues, at the organization, but people across the city are already texting and calling and asking what they can do," Abudayyah says.

Odeh left court with two nephews. Her attorney and friend say she has no other family here and was never married.

"She's one of the nicest people," says attorney Jim Fennerty. "She comes to my house on Christmas Eve, and spends time with my family, she's just a wonderful person, she's always caring. She always put yourself out to help people in the community, she's not a threat to anybody."

Odeh will be prosecuted on the charges in Detroit, which is where the alleged fraud happened. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison and could have her U.S. citizenship stripped and be deported.

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