SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An Iraqi man accused of killing for the Islamic State terrorist group entered the U.S. as a refugee after claiming to be a victim of terrorism, in a case drawing attention amid the Trump administration’s criticism of the resettlement program’s vetting process.
Omar Abdulsattar Ameen, 45, was arrested in California on Wednesday and will be extradited to Iraq under a treaty with that nation, U.S. officials said. He made his first appearance in federal court in Sacramento after his arrest at an apartment building in the state capitol.
Mr. Ameen left Iraq and fled in 2012 to Turkey, where he applied to be accepted as a refugee to the U.S., according to court documents.
He was granted that status in June 2014. That same month, prosecutors say he returned to Iraq, where he killed a police officer in the town of Rawah after it fell to IS. Five months later, Mr. Ameen traveled to the United States to be resettled as a refugee.
Mr. Ameen was arrested by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force based on a warrant issued in May by an Iraqi federal court in Baghdad. Mr. Ameen could face execution for the “organized killing by an armed group,” according to Iraqi documents filed in U.S. federal court.