US Justice Department officials admitted before the House Subcommittee on National Security on Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s administration has not prosecuted a single Palestinian terrorist who murdered US citizens in Israel and elsewhere.
The hearing was called to investigate the Justice Department’s failure of its congressional mandate to bring such murderers to justice, reports the Washington Free Beacon.
Palestinian Arab terrorists have murdered no fewer than 64 American citizens since 1993, including two unborn children, but the US government has yet to take any legal action against them. In the hearing, Justice Department officials said that initiating cases into the murders could take “many years.”
During the hearing, which examined the role of the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OVT) in prosecuting terrorism against Americans in Israel, Representative Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said the Justice Department has repeatedly refused to give answers to Congress on the matter.
DeSantis, who serves as chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security which held the hearing, said the Justice Department “has not been able to cite one example for this committee of even a single terrorist who has been prosecuted in the US for any of the 64 attacks against Americans in Israel.”
“Indeed, many of these terrorists roam free as the result of prisoner exchanges or evasion,” added the subcommittee chair, noting “this is not what Congress intended” when it created the OVT in 2005.
“This is not what the American people want, and this does not provide justice to the victims’ families that has been so tragically elusive.”
One of the most remarkable cases noted in the hearing was that of Ahlam Tamimi, the female Arab terrorist behind the infamous Sbarro pizza restaurant bombing in Jerusalem on August 9, 2001 in which 15 people were murdered, including a pregnant American woman. Tamimi currently lives in Jordan and hosts a show on Hamas’s Al Quds TV station.
The US administration has yet to bring Tamimi to justice, instead allowing her to live freely and incite to terrorism on TV.
“When the (oversight) committee questioned the DOJ (Department of Justice) about this case, the department declined to comment,” said DeSantis. “If in fact bringing to justice the perpetrators of terrorism against Americans in Israel is a high priority for the DOJ, then surely people of this nature should be prosecuted for their crimes.”
In the hearing Brad Wiegmann, deputy assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s national security division, claimed there are several “open investigations” but refused to provide any further details, reports Washington Free Beacon.
“While I cannot discuss these investigations today or the facts of specific cases, it’s important to note the absence of public charges associated with a particular overseas attack does not mean that there are no charges, or that no such charges will be brought,” Weigmann said.
He stated that prosecution might only come “many years” after a terrorist attack.
“I can certainly understand the frustration of some of the families that the Department of Justice has not prosecuted more cases involving terrorist attacks against Americans in Israel,” he added, noting the Obama administration has taken action on several attacks conducted by Al Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.
But most of the 64 murders yet to be acted on “do not involve any of the recent attacks within Israel,” Weigmann claimed.
The most recent such attack in fact took place just last November, when 18-year-old US citizen Ezra Schwartz was murdered by an Arab terrorist in a shooting attack in Judea’s Gush Etzion.
Schwartz’s uncle Peter Schwartz testified at the hearing, and stated that the Obama administration has been very obtuse regarding any investigation of the case.
“We are not aware of what if any US actions have been undertaken to investigate this case, and we still have many unanswered questions about the attack that claimed Ezra’s life and what role our government can play in answering them,” Schwartz said before the committee.
Also testifying at the hearing was Sari Singer, who was wounded in an Arab terror attack on a Jerusalem bus back in 2003, and said she has lost faith in the government’s will to defend its citizens.
“The government’s track record in extraditing or even seeking extradition of Palestinian terrorists who have murdered American citizens is nonexistent,” Singer said.
“I grew up believing that my country would be there for me and protect me no matter where I was in the world. These last years have left me feeling let down.”
Obama’s administration last August moved to limit compensation for American victims of Palestinian terror, directly interfering in a court case by claiming in a legal briefing that a large cash restitution could harm chances of peace talks.
The hearing from Tuesday can be viewed in full below.