Information is sketchy, but what we know so far is that a man was arrested in Arizona on Friday at the request of the Iraqi government which claims he is a leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and is being accused of murdering two Iraqi policemen in Fallujah in 2006.
Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri, 42, was arrested in the Phoenix area after a warrant was issued by the Justice Department on Thursday.
“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,” Arizona federal prosecutors said in a news release.
“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.”
It’s unknown how long Ahmed al-Nouri has been in the U.S. or how he got here. Nor is it known how long he lived in Arizona — a state not unfamiliar with terrorists being infiltrated into the U.S.
Al-Nouri is apparently a significant catch.
According to the Iraqi government, al-Nouri was the leader of an al Qaeda group in the Iraqi city of Al-Fallujah which planned operations targeting Iraqi police.
He and other members of al-Qaida allegedly shot and killed a lieutenant on June 1, 2006, and an officer with the Fallujah Police Directorate on October 3, 2006.
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 FBI probably knows how long he’s been here and has tracked any of his known associates by now. If he had been a threat, he would have likely been arrested already, along with anyone else in his network.
But the arrest warrant was issued only after the Iraqi government requested extradition. Is it possible they knew where al-Nouri was and the FBI didn’t?
I imagine many of these questions will be answered in the coming days.