BREAKING: Alleged al-Qaida Leader Arrested in Phoenix

NBC News reports a man accused of killing two police officers while acting as the leader of an al Qaeda group in the Iraqi city of Fallujah was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona, federal officials said Friday.

Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri, 42, is wanted in Iraq on charges of premeditated murder of the Iraqi police officers in 2006, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Arizona.

An Iraqi judge issued a warrant for Al-Nouri’s arrest and the government there issued an extradition request to the U.S. Justice Department, the statement said.

The Justice Department sought an arrest warrant for Al-Nouri and he was taken into custody on Thursday in Phoenix.

The U.S. DOJ issues the following statement:

On January 31, 2020, a Phoenix-area resident, who is alleged to have been the leader of a group of Al-Qaeda terrorists in Al-Fallujah, Iraq, appeared today before a federal magistrate judge in Phoenix, Arizona in connection with proceedings to extradite him to the Republic of Iraq.  He is wanted to stand trial in Iraq for two charges of premeditated murder committed in 2006 in Al-Fallujah.

The arrest was announced by Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael Bailey for the District of Arizona.

An Iraqi judge issued a warrant for the arrest of Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri, 42, on murder charges.  The Government of Iraq subsequently requested Ahmed’s extradition from the United States.  In accordance with its treaty obligations to Iraq, the United States filed a complaint in Phoenix seeking a warrant for Ahmed’s arrest based on the extradition request. U.S. Magistrate Judge John Z. Boyle issued the warrant on January 29, 2020, and Ahmed was arrested the following day.

According to the information provided by the Government of Iraq in support of its extradition request, Ahmed served as the leader of a group of Al-Qaeda terrorists in Al-Fallujah, Iraq, which planned operations targeting Iraqi police.  Ahmed and other members of the Al-Qaeda group allegedly shot and killed a first lieutenant in the Fallujah Police Directorate and a police officer in the Fallujah Police Directorate, on or about June 1, 2006, and October 3, 2006, respectively.

The details contained in the complaint are allegations and have not yet been proven in court.  If Ahmed’s extradition is certified by the court, the decision of whether to surrender him to Iraq will be made by the U.S. Secretary of State.

Ahmed’s arrest was executed by the FBI Phoenix Field Office, HSI Phoenix Field Office and the U.S. Marshals Service. The extradition case will be handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs.