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Suburban Woman Faces Immigration Charges For Israel Bombing

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CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago woman of Palestinian descent was arrested Tuesday on immigration charges for allegedly lying about her conviction for a deadly bombing in Israel in 1969.

Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 66, lied on immigration papers when she came to the U.S. from Jordan in 1995 and before she became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2004, according to a federal indictment.

Making an initial appearance in a Chicago courtroom, Odeh appeared confused at times about the proceedings, leaning over to speak to an attorney.

The indictment was handed down in Detroit, where at least part of Odeh’s naturalization process took place. She was arrested Tuesday morning at her home in Evergreen Park, just southwest of Chicago, according to prosecutors.

If convicted of immigration fraud, Odeh could face up to 10 years in a U.S. prison. She could also be stripped of her U.S. citizenship.

Odeh’s Chicago-based attorney, James Fennerty, declined any comment after Tuesday’s hearing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason ordered that Odeh remain in custody while her passports were retrieved and turned over to authorities. Another hearing was scheduled for later Tuesday afternoon.

Odeh was arrested and charged with a series of bombings in Jerusalem in 1969, which killed two people. Israeli authorities have said the attacks were planned by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

An Israeli military court sentenced Odeh to life in prison in 1970, but she was released 10 years later in a prisoner exchange with the Popular Front. Israel released 76 prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured in Lebanon, according to Odeh’s indictment.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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