Organization Calls on FBI and State Department to Redouble Effort in Ongoing Investigation of Terrorist Attack
Washington, DC | October 11, 2008 | www.adc.org | At 9:00 a.m. on October 11, 1985, a bomb exploded at the Santa Ana, California, office of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). The powerful pipe bomb that killed Alexander Michel Odeh, ADC Western Regional Director, as he unlocked and opened his office door, tore through his body and blew out office windows, injuring passersby on the street below, and severely damaging the building. Today, 23 Years later, ADC marks another "Alex Odeh Day" as the investigation into the terrorist attack continues with no arrests and no resolution. The FBI investigation into the murder of Alex Odeh remains open and there is currently a $1-Million reward for information leading to conviction. No arrests have ever been made in the case though press reports state that the FBI has identified suspects. For more information, please visit the FBI $1-Million reward page
A year ago, on October 11, 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported that officials have uncovered new evidence in the investigation that may help investigators eventually bring charges in the case. Within days of Odeh's murder, the FBI announced that based on the explosive devices used, it believed the militant Jewish Defense League (JDL) was behind the bombing, as well as two earlier attacks on the East Coast. The JDL is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The reaction of the JDL in the days following Odeh's assassination stoked the fires of resentment in the Arab-American community. According to the Washington Post, JDL chairman Irv Rubin announced at the time, "The person or persons responsible for the bombing deserves our praise for striking out against the murderers of Americans and of Jews." Rubin was also quoted in the Washington Post as saying, "I have no tears for Mr. Odeh. He got exactly what he deserves." Four JDL members, Keith Fuchs, Andy Green and Robert and Rochelle Manning, emerged as suspects, though none were ever charged or prosecuted in connection with the bombing. All four fled to Israel, where Fuchs and Greene reside in Kiryat Araba, a Jewish settlement near Hebron in the West Bank, Palestine.
A published poet and professor of Middle East History and Arabic Language, Alex was a lecturer and a tireless peace activist. Alex was a Palestinian Roman Catholic who was scheduled to speak at Friday prayer services at Congregation B'Nai Tzadek, a synagogue in Fountain Valley, CA, the day of his murder. Alex dedicated his life to the defense of civil liberties at home and civil and human rights abroad. He is survived by his wife Norma and his three daughters Helena, Samia, and Susan; all of whom were under the age of 10 at the time of the attack.
ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, "The terrorist attack that killed Alex remains a mark of shame on the fabric of our society," Shora continued, "as we mark 'Alex Odeh Day,' we call upon the FBI to redouble its efforts and work with the appropriate government agencies, including the State Department, to bring those responsible to justice."