Plane bomber sought West Bank deportation: Records
A Jordanian-born Palestinian responsible for a deadly 1982 airline bombing sought to be deported to the West Bank upon completing his prison sentence last year, but the Israeli government denied the request, citing problems with his identity documents, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Washington: A Jordanian-born Palestinian responsible for a deadly 1982 airline bombing sought to be deported to the West Bank upon completing his prison sentence last year, but the Israeli government denied the request, citing problems with his identity documents, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Since then, there have been "confidential diplomatic dealings" aimed at moving Mohammed Rashed out of the US and fulfilling an earlier commitment to deport him, court filings show.
Rashed was released from federal prison in March 2013 for the bombing of Pan Am 830, which killed a Japanese teenager and injured more than a dozen passengers aboard the Hawaii-bound plane.
A onetime lieutenant of a Palestinian bomb maker featured on the FBI's list of most-wanted terrorists, Rashed remains at a federal immigration detention facility in New York state that houses those awaiting deportation.
He was sentenced to prison in 2006 under a plea deal that allowed for his release last year and required him to cooperate with investigations into other terrorist plots he knew about.
The US government said as part of the agreement that it would work to deport Rashed to a country of his choice after he served his time on murder and conspiracy charges.
Emails and other documents obtained by the AP from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement gave details on why Rashed remains in custody well after his release from prison.
The documents show he requested last year to be sent to the West Bank, where he has family, and that the government sought Israel's permission to send him there via a bridge connecting the territory with Jordan.
Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in 1967 and controls access in and out of the territory.
But the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a June 25, 2013, memo that Rashed's Palestinian passport and birth certificate "contain material discrepancies" about his place and date of birth.
The memo to the US Embassy does not specify the discrepancies but said the request would be reconsidered if he submitted better documentation to prove past residence in Palestinian Authority areas.
A follow-up email between government officials suggested that "we turn our focus to a third country for removal" while "additional strategies and solutions" are developed.
Even before that rejection, government officials had discussed coordinating travel plans with other foreign countries.
"It will take a little push to have Jordan accept and provide a security detail," one email said.