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Plane bomber sought West Bank deportation

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Washington, Nov 03 (AP) - A Jordanian-born Palestinian responsible for a deadly 1982 airline bombing sought to be deported to the West Bank upon completing his prison sentence last year, but the Israeli government denied the request, citing problems with his identity documents, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Since then, there have been "confidential diplomatic dealings" aimed at moving Mohammed Rashed out of the U.S. and fulfilling an earlier commitment to deport him, court filings show.
Rashed was released from federal prison in March 2013 for the bombing of Pan Am 830, which killed a Japanese teenager and injured more than a dozen passengers aboard the Hawaii-bound plane. A onetime lieutenant of a Palestinian bomb maker featured on the FBI's list of most-wanted terrorists, Rashed remains at a federal immigration detention facility in New York state that houses those awaiting deportation.
He was sentenced to prison in 2006 under a plea deal that allowed for his release last year and required him to cooperate with investigations into other terrorist plots he knew about. The U.S. government said as part of the agreement that it would work to deport Rashed to a country of his choice after he served his time on murder and conspiracy charges.
Emails and other documents obtained by the AP from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement gave details on why Rashed remains in custody well after his release from prison. The documents show he requested last year to be sent to the West Bank - where he has family - and that the government sought Israel's permission to send him there via a bridge connecting the territory with Jordan. Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in 1967 and controls access in and out of the territory.
But the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a June 25, 2013, memo that Rashed's Palestinian passport and birth certificate "contain material discrepancies" about his place and date of birth. The memo to the U.S. Embassy does not specify the discrepancies but said the request would be reconsidered if he submitted better documentation to prove past residence in Palestinian Authority areas.
The Aug. 11, 1982, bombing was set in motion when Rashed, his wife and their young son traveled from Baghdad to Tokyo. He tucked a bomb beneath his seat cushion, engaged the timer and disembarked with his family when the flight landed in Japan. The device exploded as the plane descended into Honolulu, killing a 16-year-old boy who occupied the same seat on the plane's next leg.
Rashed was arrested in Athens, Greece, in 1988 for traveling with a false passport and implicated in the bomb attack. Rather than extraditing him for the bombing, Greek authorities prosecuted him and won a conviction.
He was released from prison in 1996, but then arrested by the FBI in another country two years later and returned to the U.S. for prosecution. He pleaded guilty in 2002.