The BBC apologised for broadcasting an appeal by convicted Hamas terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, mastermind of the Sbarro Pizza parlor bombing in Jerusalem in 2001, to be reunited with her husband, after the families of Tamimi’s victims and the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) spoke out against the broadcast.
On October 1, 2020, Tamimi’s husband Nizar, who is also a convicted terrorist, was deported by the Jordanian authorities to Qatar.
Seven days later the BBC’s Arabic TV service broadcast a report in its program Trending on how Tamimi had called into a popular Amman-based radio station in a bid to appeal directly to King Abdullah II to intervene and have her husband returned to Jordan.
The BBC’s report glossed over key elements of Jordanian-born Tamimi’s story, reporting that she had been “accused” of the Sbarro terror attack but not that she had boastfully pled guilty to the charges in an Israeli court – or that she had said she would be happy to carry out such an attack again.
Tamimi was sentenced to 16 life sentences following the attack, but only served ten years as she was released in the deal that secured the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas’s hold.
The BBC’s Arabic service, which is funded by Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, further failed to mention any of her victims by name.
A video of the segment had been uploaded to the BBC’s YouTube site, carrying the description: “‘Ahlam Tamimi, your voice is loud’ – responses of solidarity on Jordanian and Palestinian sites with Palestinian Ahlam Tamimi.”