An Iraqi man wanted for the terrorist murder of a police officer in his native country has been arrested in Sacramento, prosecutors said.
Omar Ameen, 45, appeared in federal court and was held to await extradition proceedings to Iraq, the U.S. attorney’s office said Wednesday.
Prosecutors said Ameen had been a member of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and later the Islamic State terror organization, in Anbar province in the Euphrates River Valley from 2004 onward and had committed other violent acts, including the planting of explosive devices.
According to the arrest warrant issued by an Iraqi court, he was part of a caravan of Islamic State vehicles that drove to the house of Rawah Police Officer Ihsan Abdulhafiz Jasim in June 2014 and opened fire. Ameen allegedly fired the fatal shot to the victim’s chest while the officer was lying on the ground.
Ameen entered the United States in November 2014 after applying for U.S. refugee status in Turkey and was attempting to gain legal residence when the Iraqi court issued the murder charge this May, prosecutors said. The Justice Department then sought an arrest warrant, under the U.S. extradition treaty with Iraq, and a federal magistrate issued the warrant on Tuesday.
Murder is punishable by death in Iraq.
Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter:@BobEgelko