Federal authorities say a man living in California as a refugee is wanted in Iraq on suspicion of taking part in ISIS-related executions several years ago.
According to a criminal complaint released by the U.S. Department of Justice, Omar Abdulsattar Ameen will be extradited to that country to face charges of premeditated murder.
“Ameen is accused of committing this offense within the jurisdiction of Iraq,” the document states. “A judge of the Baghdad Federal Al-Karkh Appellate Court issued a warrant for Ameen’s arrest on May 16, 2018.”
As the New York Post reported, he was arrested in Sacramento this week.
He had been living in the Northern California city since arriving in the U.S. in November 2014 after he received refugee status.
Reports indicate Ameen began seeking asylum in the U.S. in 2012, when he was living in Turkey. At that time, he claimed to be a victim of terrorism.
The FBI could only tell us “warrant activity” is occurring at the Eastern Villa Apartments today. Sacramento sheriff’s deputies are here, too. So was Metro Fire. We’ve seen FBI in Joint Terrorism Task Force jackets. pic.twitter.com/VBw19dE30O
— Max Resnik (@maxeresnik) August 15, 2018
In reality, Iraqi officials say he traveled to that nation to commit a terror-related killing in June 2014 — after receiving refugee status in the U.S. but before making the trip.
Since settling in Sacramento, officials say he had begun trying to earn legal status in the country.
Federal prosecutors, however, say he lied on his refugee documentation and is suspected of taking part in the brutal murder described in the complaint.
“On or about June 21, 2014, the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (“ISIS”) entered the Rawah District of Al-Anbar Province, Iraq and seized control, erecting checkpoints and preventing citizens from entering or leaving the District,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott.
Ameen is believed to be one of “several individuals” who showed up at the home of the victim and began shooting at the residence.
“In response to the attack on his home, the victim returned fire with his Kalashnikov rifle,” the complaint states. “Ameen then fired his weapon at the victim while the victim was on the ground. A death certificate issued by the Rawah hospital confirms the victim’s death by gunshot to the chest.”
Evidence presented in the document included a social media post in which ISIS took credit for the killing and an eyewitness who identified Ameen as the shooter.
Scott explained that the warrant was kept under wraps until the suspect’s arrest, citing an elevated flight risk associated with the case.
“Ameen would be likely to flee if he learned of the existence of a warrant for his arrest,” the complaint concluded. “Accordingly, the United States requests that this Complaint and Arrest Warrant remain sealed until such time as the warrant is executed.”
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