A former ISIS fighter has been arrested in California, but only after he was granted refugee status by the United States.
Omar Abdulsattar Ameen was granted refugee status in 2014, claiming to be a victim of terrorism. In fact, authorities say he was a terrorist himself, who responsible for killing an Iraqi police officer. He is now under arrest and faces deportation to Iraq to face justice for his crimes.
He not only fought for ISIS, authorities say he fought for al-Qaeda as well, and he helped plant improvised bombs, transport militants, solicited funds, and robbed supply trucks and kidnapped drivers for the terror group.
In 2005, he reportedly drove a car that flew the ISIS flag and had a machine gun mounted to it.
Ameen reportedly comes from a family of Islamic radicals. The FBI has found a number of witnesses that identify Ameen, his father, brothers, and even cousins as working with al-Qaeda and ISIS.
The revelation raises the question as to how thorough the vetting process for refugees was during the Obama era. He did not list his terror affiliation on his green card application, and many wonder if the application was ever investigated.
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.
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 the Islamic State. Five months later, Ameen traveled to the United States to be resettled as a refugee.
Ameen was arrested by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force based on a warrant issued in May by an Iraqi federal court in Baghdad. Ameen could face execution for the “organized killing by an armed group,” according to Iraqi documents filed in U.S. federal court.
The Trump administration has added new crackdowns on the vetting process, which may be the first step in shoring up the refugee process.
Officials at the State Department say new vetting protocols are “enabling departments and agencies to more thoroughly review applicants to identify threats to public safety and national security.”
Nayla Rush at the Center for Immigration Studies said nothing will make the program 100 percent safe.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Edmund Brennan accepted prosecutors’ argument that Ameen is dangerous and a flight risk and ordered him detained until his next court appearance set for Monday.
The Iraqi arrest warrant and extradition request say Ameen drove in a four-vehicle ISIS caravan to the home of police officer, Ihsan Abdulhafiz Jasim, in his hometown of Rawah in Anbar province.
He and at least five other named suspects opened fire and the man shot back. According to Iraqi court documents, Ameen fired the fatal shot into the man’s chest as he lay on the ground.
ISIS later claimed responsibility for the slaying on social media.
CBS Sacramento reports on the arrest.
A final court decision on his deportation has yet to be issued.
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