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US arrests Iraqi terrorist leader

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The US announced on Friday that it had detained an Iraqi, living in Arizona, at the request of the Baghdad government to stand trial in Iraq on murder charges Kurdistan 24 reported.


The US Attorney’s office in Phoenix issued a statement, explaining that it had arrested Ali Yousif Ahmed al-Nouri. The 42 year old Nouri is wanted for the pre-meditated murder of two policemen in Fallujah in 2006.

The Iraqi government has asked the US to extradite Nouri on the grounds that he was “the leader of a group of al-Qaida terrorists in Fallujah, Iraq, which planned operations targeting Iraqi police.”

Fallujah, a predominantly Sunni city, some 50 miles west of Baghdad, saw some of the heaviest fighting during the US-led war that ousted Saddam Hussein and his regime.

The Bush administration initially believed that, already in May 2003, it had won that conflict. However, that preliminary belief proved quite wrong. Many residents of Fallujah had worked for the regime’s military and intelligence services, and it was one of the first places where the insurgency emerged.

In March 2004, insurgents ambushed a convoy in Fallujah that included four men from the private US military contractor, Blackwater, who were involved in delivering supplies to the US military there.

The four Blackwater employees were pulled from their vehicles and savagely beaten, before their bodies were set on fire and hung from a bridge over the Euphrates.

A Marine force had just replaced the 82nd Airborne in Fallujah. It responded by surrounding the city and attempting to find those responsible, but Iraq’s Governing Council (which the US had established) did not support the action, and a truce was negotiated instead.

Insurgent violence resumed, and in November, this time with the support of the Governing Council, US, British, and Iraqi forces launched a second offensive against the rebels in Fallujah.

A decade later, in January 2014, Fallujah became one of the first Iraqi cities to fall to the so-called Islamic State.

Nouri was arrested on Thursday and appeared before a judge on Friday.

No further details are available, as to when he entered the US, how he passed screening intended to prevent terrorists from coming into the country, or what he was doing in Arizona.

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