The Lawfare Project submitted a criminal complaint to the National Court of Spain, filing charges of public exaltation of terrorism and financing terrorism against Leila Khaled, a current member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The filing, submitted with the support of the Jewish community of Ibiza, details how Khaled used her official position in the PFLP, classified as a terrorist organization by the EU and US, to trivialize the Holocaust, compare Israel to Nazi Germany, and advocate for indiscriminate violence against civilians. In addition to these charges, The Lawfare Project has applied for a European warrant for Khaled’s arrest and for her inclusion on EU and Interpol databases.
“Seeing an infamous terrorist leader welcomed at universities, municipal halls, and even the European Parliament, all while praising violence against civilians, is both despicable and unacceptable,” said Ignacio Wenley Palacios, the Lawfare Project attorney who filed the charges. “Public exaltation and defense of terrorist acts is a serious crime in our country, and we are determined to advance criminal charges on behalf of the victims who are unable to defend themselves.”
Leila Khaled participated in two hijackings, in 1969 and 1970, of a TWA and an El Al flight, respectively. Recently, despite her position as a senior member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, Khaled was allowed to address the European Parliament at an event entitled “The Role of Women in the Palestinian Resistance,” using that platform to praise extremist violence and demonize Jews. The Lawfare Project is responding through firmly established legal avenues to prevent Khaled from continuing her support of terrorism from European soil.
“Today we take an important step forward in seeking justice in Spain. It is high time for the Spanish legal system to address Khaled’s adulation of extremist violence,” said Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project. “We believe that this case provides a template that can inspire other communities threatened by supporters of terrorism to stand up and push back. Members of terror groups should not be able to cross European borders with impunity, and we strive to guarantee that will no longer be the case.”
The Lawfare Project’s suit aims to hold Khaled accountable for her actions, and to maintain vigilance against lax application of anti-terrorism legislation in Europe. The Lawfare Project will continue publishing updates as the case develops.