SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A refugee from Iraq, was on Wednesday arrested in Northern California on a warrant alleging that he killed an Iraqi police officer during the fight for the Islamic State organization.
Omar Abdulsattar Ameen, 45, and the other members of ISIS killed the officer after the city of Rawah, Iraq, the Islamic State in June 2014, according to the court documents.
He was arrested by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force at a Sacramento apartment complex on the basis of a warrant issued in May by an Iraqi federal court in Baghdad. The officials of the V. S. plans to extradite him back to Iraq under a treaty with that country, and he made his first appearance in federal court in san francisco on Wednesday.
Ameen could face execution for the “organized killing by an armed group,” according to Iraqi documents filed in U.S. federal court.
Prosecutors say Ameen introduced in the united states under a refugee program, eventually settling in Sacramento, and tried to get legal status in the United States. It was not immediately clear when Ameen came to the U.S.
The Trumpet administration has sharply criticized the Obama-era settlement program, questioning whether enough is done to weed out those with terrorist ties.
Officials said Ameen-kept secret of his membership in two terrorist groups when he applied for refugee status, and later, when he applied for a green card in the United States.
The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security officials not directly respond to questions about Ameen.
Benjamin Galloway, one of Ameen public defense, said he only had 10 minutes to meet with his client prior to his first federal court appearance Wednesday afternoon and the lawyers have not yet decided whether the competition that Ameen is in fact the man wanted by the Iraqi authorities.
Ameen was discovered by a witness of the murder who viewed a series of photos of ISIS members, according to Iraqi documents.
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating Ameen for the submission of fraudulent travel or immigration documents, because 2016, according to a court filing. It says that the FBI independently confirmed Ameen’s involvement with the terrorist organizations, and participation in the killing.
Ameen remained dressed in ordinary clothes, including a light blue T-shirt when he appeared in court with handcuffs on a chain around his waist. U.S. Magistrate Judge Edmund Brennan ordered him held until his next appearance set for Monday, accepting the prosecutors’ argument that Ameen is dangerous and a flight risk.
Prosecutors said in court filings that the release of an alleged member of a designated foreign terrorist organization would be the national security is in danger.
The Iraqi arrest warrant and extradition request to say that Ameen entered his hometown of Rawah in Anbar province of Iraq with a four-vehicle ISIS caravan and drove to the house of Ihsan Abdulhafiz Jasim, who had served with the Rawah Police Department. He and at least five other named suspects opened fire and the man shot back, but the documents show that Ameen fatally shot the man in the chest as he lay on the ground.
The militants later claimed responsibility for the murder on social media.
The FBI has interviewed at least eight witnesses who identify with the Ameen family — including Ameen himself, his father, brothers, and cousins of the father — as connected with al-Qaeda and ISIS, the prosecutor said.
Court documents say Ameen’s family, also helped al Qaeda in the Rawah and that Ameen was a member of al-Qaeda in Iraq and ISIS. The documents prove that he did a number of things in support of the groups, including helping to plant improvised bombs.
Associated Press reporter Sophia Bollag contributed to this story.