A section of the federal anti-terrorism law allows the U.S. to investigate, extradite (where there is a relevant treaty) and prosecute those who are believed to have murdered or maimed Americans in acts of terrorism committed outside of the United States.
This law was passed in 1985, following the brutal point-blank shooting death of Jewish American Leon Klinghoffer by Arab Palestinian terrorists who boarded the Achille Lauro off the coast of Egypt.
So, this should be an easy case.
But tell that to Dr. Alan Bauer, who has been banging his head against the brick wall of the U.S. Justice Department for eight years, trying to get them to do exactly what this federal law was crafted, and enacted, to do. Bauer, a Chicago-born, Harvard-trained biochemist and his then seven-year old son were seriously wounded in a homicide bombing in Jerusalem on King George Street, eleven years ago, on March 21, 2002.
Or tell it to Sherry and Seth Mandell, whose 13-year old son Koby was stabbed and beaten to death with rocks by Arab Palestinians in the spring of 2001. The Mandells moved to Israel from Maryland in 1996, in the wake of the Oslo Accords. The Mandell family moved, hoping to live in peace with their Arab neighbors.
Nearly ten years ago the US congress directed that an office within the Justice Department, the “Office for Victims of Overseas Terrorism,” be created to “ensure that the investigation and prosecution of terrorist attacks against American citizens overseas remain a high priority within the Department of Justice.”
The OVT is responsible for monitoring the investigation and prosecution of terrorist attacks against Americans abroad,” but not a single terrorist has ever been pursued by this office. Oh, files are open and updated, but that’s it.
In anticipation of President Obama’s visit to the region, Bauer and other American victims of Arab Palestinian terror sent a letter to Thomas Goldberger of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
They asked that the State Department pass on to those in charge of Obama’s visit a simple, three-point message:
(1) utilize the American anti-terrorism laws to prosecute terrorists who have wounded and killed Americans,
(2) make it clear to the Palestinian Authority that any American financial aid will be cut off if the PA is found to be complicit in acts of terrorism that harm American citizens, and
(3) insist that no more Arab Palestinian terrorists with American blood on their hands be released by Israel.
The answer to this message, like the earlier one in which Bauer asked that he and other American victims of terror be granted an audience with President Obama, has been silence.
Obama could take the time to meet with the ADC and MPAC and hear their urgings to make nice with Hamas, but there’s no time to meet with Americans whose family members have been murdered by Muslim terrorists.