'Former' Terrorist Turned TV Hostess

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- She has no regrets, she says.

Ahlam Tamimi, 31, released in the prisoner exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit last October, had been serving 16 consecutive life sentences for her participation in the 2001 Sbarro Pizzeria suicide bombing, which killed 15 and wounded 130.

Neither the death toll nor the shipwrecked lives from the massive explosion at a Jerusalem restaurant moves her.

"I dedicated myself to the path of jihad ["holy" war] for the sake of Allah, and Allah granted me success. Do you want me to denounce what I did? That's out of the question. I would do it again," Tamimi said in Jordan, where she was exiled following her release.

It's hard to fathom the hatred that permeates such thinking.

Now the former university student and journalist turned terrorist hosts her own show, named Nasim al-Ahrar (Breeze of the Free), broadcast on Hamas' al-Quds TV.

The show deals primarily with Palestinian Arabs serving time in Israeli prisons for terror-related crimes.

Her first guest was Salah Arouri, the Hamas official who helped formulate the prisoner list and negotiate over it with Israel.

Arouri says "resistance" (an Islamic euphemism for terror attacks) -- particularly kidnapping IDF soldiers -- is the only path to prisoner exchanges such as took place for Shalit.

"The only way to free our prisoners from jail is through resistance, abductions and prisoner swaps," Arouri told his hostess.

Israel agreed to a two-stage release of nearly 1,000 prisoners in exchange for Shalit.

It's likely that many of them share Tamimi's belief in jihad. Statistics confirm that many -- if not most -- released Arab prisoners return to terrorism.

Many are Muslims and adhere to the teachings of the Koran, Islam's "holy" book. Should it be desecrated in any way, jihad is justified. The recent incident at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, where troops burned copies reportedly used to send messages back and forth is the latest example.

President Obama and other high-level military officials apologized for the incident, notwithstanding the deaths that took place at the hands of the jihadists.

At least 23 people, six of them American soldiers, have been killed over the incident. The U.S. military will reportedly punish the troops who destroyed the books.


The Jerusalem Post and YNet contributed to this report.

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Tzippe Barrow

Tzippe Barrow

CBN News Internet Producer - Jerusalem

From her perch high atop the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, Tzippe Barrow helps provide a bird’s eye view of events unfolding in her country.

She and her husband made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) several years ago. Barrow hopes that providing a biblical perspective of today’s events in Israel will help people in the nations to better understand the centrality of this state and the Jewish people to God’s unfolding plan of redemption for all mankind.