Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) and John Conyers, Jr. (D-Michigan) co-authored a letter to the chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee requesting a hearing on the assassination of Alex Odeh, the Palestinian-American civil rights leader who perished in a 1985 bomb blast in Santa Ana.
The last time a congressional hearing was held on the unsolved slaying--by the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice--was in 1986.
"If the FBI has deemed this case a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, we need reassurance that all necessary efforts have been taken to protect our national security," Sanchez explains in a statement about the letter to Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. Conyers is the ranking member.
"I hope the chairman and the Department of Justice will heed our calls, stop this delay of justice and help the Odeh family find closure," Sanchez added.
Sanchez, whose district includes the site at 1905 E. 17th St., Santa Ana, where Odeh was killed shortly after a blast triggered when he opened the door of his office on Oct. 11, 1985, last June sent an inquiry to Attorney General Eric Holder seeking an update on the case.
"In July, the Department of Justice replied with an unsatisfactory and vague letter," reads the statement from Sanchez's office. "In addition to calling for a hearing, [Wednesday] the congresswoman and three colleagues asked the DOJ for a more detailed written response."
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Jewish Voice for Peace and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee were among civil rights groups that last month called on the DOJ to renew the Odeh investigation.
In 2010, the FBI described Odeh's killing in an agency news blog as "an active, ongoing priority investigation" and noted a $1 million reward had been offered for his killers.
The letters to Goodlatte and the DOJ follow on the next page ...
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