Convicted terrorist who blew up Israeli students was once hired as Obamacare navigator

Katie McHugh Associate Editor
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A murderer convicted of terrorism in Israel did a short stint as an Obamacare navigator in Chicago in 2013 after lying on her immigration papers and illegally obtaining U.S. citizenship, National Review Online reports.

When the Illinois Department of Insurance (IDI) conducted a background check on Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, a former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who murdered two Hebrew University students and wounded 10 others in a grocery-store bombing in 1969, they found a clean record — the Federal Bureau of Investigation had no information on Odeh. (RELATED: Sebelius: It’s possible for convicted felons to become Obamacare navigators)

But the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Michigan brought Odeh’s crimes to light, prompting the IDI to terminate Odeh in late November and issue a disciplinary report on the ordeal, according to National Review.

Unsurprisingly, Odeh, who used as many as nine aliases to evade authorities, “failed to reveal the conviction on her [navigator] application,” IDI found.

Foreigners convicted of terrorist attacks are barred from entry into the U.S., much less from obtaining citizenship — but Odeh was sworn in as a U.S. citizen in 2004 after illegally forging her naturalization papers. She was previously ordered to serve a life sentence in Israel for her crimes and was transferred to Lebanon after serving 10 years in prison. (RELATED: Obamacare navigator in Kansas has outstanding arrest warrant)

Now, Odeh may lose her U.S. citizenship and spend a decade behind bars if she is convicted of immigration fraud — and may face civil charges since her Obamacare navigator certificate has been revoked.

She worked as a community activist at the Arab American Action Network in the Chicago suburbs before her October arrest. Her defense lawyer and close friend James Fennerty told The Associated Press in 2013 they never talked about her dabbles in terrorism and deadly explosives.

“I never really asked her. She’s one of the nicest people,” he said of the convicted murderer. “She’s always caring. She’s not a threat to anyone.”

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Katie McHugh