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Thursday, June 29, 2017

“Drive them out. Drive out the terrorists. Drive out the extremists. Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this Earth.”
Donald Trump to Arab world leaders in Riyadh, May 21, 2017

While Trump is trying to get his message about terrorism and extremism across to the Arab world, it is not clear that he is addressing the right audience. For example, Saudi Arabia serves as the home of extremist Wahhabism.

Then there is Jordan, whose king recently visited the White House.

King Abdullah II. Credit: Wikipedia

Jordan's King Abdullah appears to have a different priority when it comes to "extremism". Just last year King Abdullah proclaimed
Jordan will fight Israeli aggression, which is manifested by the incursion of extremist Israelis into the mosque compound. [emphasis added]
It's not so clear that Jordan and the US really seeing eye to eye on this -- especially when you take a look at the murderers of Americans who seek asylum in Jordan.

Jordan Frees the Murderer of an American After 5 Years

In 1994 Mohammad Abequa murdered his wife in New Jersey and then escaped to Jordan. At the time, President Clinton, Attorney General Janet Reno and New Jersey's US representatives and senators all pleaded with King Hussein to return Abequa for trial. Jordan refused. There was no extradition treaty between the two countries. However, Jordan did agree to put Abequa on trial, where he was found guilty of murder. Although the punishment of death by hanging was available, he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. Five years later -- Abequa was released.


He convinced the court that the murder was an honor killing because his wife, who was in the middle of a divorce with him, was seeing someone else, and that was a reason for leniency.

An Extradition Treaty Is Signed -- And Used

Around the same time, there was a case of a terrorist who fled to Jordan -- and was returned to the US because of an extradition treaty between the two countries. That was the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, when a bomb in a van was exploded in the garage of the building. Not only was Eyad Ismoil, a Jordanian national, returned to the US in 1995, the agents came to Jordan to pick him up on Jordanian soil.


That is from over 20 years ago -- but some things do not change.

What Extradition Treaty?

Just last year, on November 4, three US soldiers were murdered after coming under fire from a Jordanian soldier as they were entering a Jordanian military base. For months, the Jordanian government lied in order to dodge responsibility. First they claimed that the US soldiers failed to stop at the gate. Then they claimed there had been an “accidental discharge” by the weapon of one of the soldiers. Then the Jordanians claimed there had been a loud noise that caused the Jordanian soldier to shoot. In each case, the available video of the attack not only disproved their story, it also indicated that other soldiers were involved in the attack as well.

Finally, just this month, the Jordanian government has charged the soldier with murder. Based on past experience, it remains to be seen whether justice really will be meted out.

One reason to be doubtful is a statement by the father of one of the murdered soldiers, “I would prefer the U.S. had an extradition in place, but that's not the case."

Now You See It, Now You Don't

While that Jordanian soldier will be tried for murder, another murderer, the terrorist Ahlam Tamimi who masterminded the Sbarro Massacre, has found asylum in Jordan and until recently even had her own TV show. Without acknowledging the treaty was already implemented, Jordan now claims the extradition treaty is null and void because it was never approved by the parliament.

In addition, it has been reported the Jordanian courts have claimed that their constitution does not allow for the extradition of Jordanian nationals.

The Facts About Jordanian Extradition

Let's start with what the Jordanian Constitution actually does say.

According to Article 9, "No Jordanian may be deported from the territory of the Kingdom" -- that does exclude nationals from being extradited, because this article deals with deportation, not extradition.

According to Article 21:
(i) Political refugees shall not be extradited on account of their political principles or their defence of freedom
(ii) International agreements and laws shall regulate the extradition of ordinary criminals
According to President Clinton, at the time the extradition treaty was signed:
The Treaty further represents an important step in combating terrorism by excluding from the scope of the political offense exception serious offenses typically committed by terrorists
Was Clinton wrong? Can Article 21 be construed as protecting Tamimi?

Stephen Flatow warns
If the Jordanian government is claiming that its constitution forbids extraditing Tamimi, it has to claim that the Sbarro massacre was a “political” crime.
Is that the kind of extremist view that Jordan holds?

According to a law article, Challenges to International Law Enforcement Cooperation for the United States in the Middle East and North Africa: Extradition and Its Alternatives, the US-Jordanian extradition treaty
contains a dual criminality clause to permit the extradition for any offense that is a crime and punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year in both countries.
[p. 486]
On the issue of extraditing Jordanian nationals:
Unlike the other two treaties [with Egypt and Iraq], the Parties cannot invoke nationality as a basis to refuse extradition. Neither U.S. nor Jordanian law bars the extradition of nationals. Though clearly the most legally flexible of the three treaties, the U.S. government reports that the treaty has been used only once since it entered into force. [p. 487; emphasis added]
Also a Congressional Report confirms that
in recent years many of our treaties have included language that explicitly bars each party from denying extradition on nationality grounds in some or all circumstances.
A footnote to this paragraph gives a list of the countries in this category -- and includes Jordan.

Who Needs an Extradition Treaty Anyway?

An interesting wrinkle in introduced by the French extradition treaty with Jordan.

According to Article 5:
Extradition des nationaux

1. L'extradition n'est pas accordée si la personne réclamée a la nationalité de la Partie requise. La nationalité est déterminée à la date de la commission de l'infraction pour laquelle l'extradition est demandée.
2. Si la demande d'extradition est refusée uniquement sur la base de la nationalité de la personne réclamée, la Partie requérante peut demander que l'affaire soit soumise aux autorités de la Partie requise afin que des poursuites puissent être exercées, s'il y a lieu. A cet effet, les documents, rapports et éléments de preuve relatifs à l'infraction sont transmis conformément à l'article 2. La Partie requise informe dans les meilleurs délais la Partie requérante de la suite réservée à sa demande.
Google translates this as:
Extradition of nationals

1. Extradition shall not be granted if the person claimed is a national of the requested Party. Nationality shall be determined on the date of the commission of the offense for which extradition is requested.
2. If the request for extradition is refused solely on the basis of the nationality of the person sought, the requesting Party may request that the case be submitted to the authorities of the requested Party for the purpose of prosecution if There. To that end, documents, reports and evidence relating to the offense shall be transmitted in accordance with article 2. The requested Party shall inform the requesting Party as soon as possible of the action taken on its request.
But what is interesting is that according to the French embassy in Washington in response to an email:
The extradition convention between France and Jordan has been signed on July 20, 2011 and entered into force on August 1, 2015. The decree was publicized in the Official Journal on October 21, 2015. The convention is still into force.

There is also a convention of mutual assistance in matters of criminal justice which was signed on July 20, 2011, entered into force on August 1, 2015 and published to the Official Journal on January 30, 2016.
Despite the fact that the treaty was signed in 2011 and did not take effect till 2015, Jordan extradited a suspected terrorist, Fateh Kamel to France over 10 years before there was an extradition treaty:
Kamel had been tracked down by Jean-Louis Bruguière, the French terrorism magistrate. Bruguière found him in early 1999 in Jordan. The French judge persuaded Jordanian officials to arrest Kamel and extradite him on charges of abetting terrorism on French soil. [emphasis added]
Granted that Kamel was not a Jordanian national, the fact remains that Jordan was not squeamish about extraditing without any formal treaty in place.

Taking into account that:
o  Jordan has shown flexibility in extraditing accused terrorists without an extradition treaty in place
o  The Jordanian Constitution allows for the extradition of Jordanian nationals
o  Jordan has an extradition treaty with the US, which despite claims that it was never approved by Parliament, was implemented in 1995
-- taking these facts into account, the Jordanian soldier should be extradited to the US to be tried for murder.

More than that, the terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, who has openly admitted and even bragged about the Sbarro Massacre, should no longer be shielded by the Jordan where she is free to continue inciting the murder of Israelis, but instead should be extradited to the US in accordance with the indictment that has been issued.

Source: Twitter

When Trumps talks about driving the terrorists out, he should be paying extra attention to Jordan.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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