Washington, DC | October 11, 2009 | 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, 24 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.
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, who earlier this year was sworn-in as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), 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.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non sectarian and non partisan, is the largest Arab-American civil rights organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980, by former Senator James Abourezk to protect the civil rights of people of Arab descent in the United States and to promote the cultural heritage of the Arabs. ADC has 38 chapters nationwide, including chapters in every major city in the country, and members in all 50 states.
The ADC Research Institute (ADC-RI), which was founded in 1981, is a Section 501(c)(3) educational organization that sponsors a wide range of programs on behalf of Arab Americans and of importance to all Americans. ADC-RI programs include research studies, seminars, conferences and publications that document and analyze the discrimination faced by Arab Americans in the workplace, schools, media, and governmental agencies and institutions. ADC-RI also celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Arabs.
Contact: ADC Media Department: firstname.lastname@example.org