Convicted Terrorist Deported, Upsetting Women's March Organizers


Convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh / Twitter
Rasmea Odeh / Twitter
September 21, 2017

The organizers of the left-wing Women's March are upset after American authorities deported a convicted terrorist to Jordan.

Rasmea Odeh, a Women's March organizer, was convicted in 1970 of two bombings in Jerusalem, the Associated Press reports. One of the bombings killed two men at a supermarket. Odeh pled guilty to the charges; although, she has since made unproven claims that she was tortured into confessing.

Odeh was one of the key organizers of the "Day Without a Woman" worldwide strike planned on March 8.

Odeh was sentenced to life in prison, but in 1979, was released during a prisoner swap with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

In 1994, Odeh applied for a U.S. visa without mentioning her criminal convictions as was mandated. When she applied for citizenship in 2004, she again failed to mention her prior convictions.

In 2014, Odeh was convicted of lying, but the conviction was overturned. Instead of having a second trial, Odeh made a deal with U.S. officilas to plead guilty to misleading American immigration officials. Under the deal, she wouldn't go to prison, but would lose her American citizenship and be deported.

U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain, in 2015, attempted to excuse Odeh's actions.

"Technically she was a terrorist," Drain said. "But looking at Ms. Odeh's recent history, I'm convinced she's really been involved in a lot of good works."

Odeh was a political activist, and the associate director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago.

Her supporters were at O'Hare International Airport on Tuesday as she prepared to be sent back to Jordan.

"Thank you for all you did for me," Odeh said to supporters. "What happened is unjust, it's inhuman. They tried to destroy my life, but they will not destroy me."

Women's March Iowa posted a tweet in strong support of the convicted terrorist.

The coordinator of Odeh's defense committee, Hatem Abudayyeh, called to "liberate" Palestine.

"We will liberate Palestine," Abudayyeh said. "We will liberate Palestine because of the Rasmea Odehs of the world."

Odeh is not the first convicted terrorist to receive support from organizers of the Women's March. Organization leaders also celebrated Assata Shakur, who was convicted in 1977 of killing a police officer before she escaped from prison and fled to Cuba.

UPDATE: 3:54 P.M.: This article was updated with information about Odeh's role in the Women's March movement.