Suspected al-Qaida leader arrested on murder charges in Arizona

An alleged al-Qaida terrorist was arrested in Arizona last week for two premeditated murders he is suspected of having committed in Iraq in 2006, the Justice Department reported on Friday, according to The Hill.

Ali Yousif Ahmed al-Nouri, 42, was detained in Phoenix on charges that he spearheaded attacks that killed two police officers in Fallujah. It was not clear how al-Nouri entered the United States or why he was here.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has not yet taken action on an Iraqi request for al-Nouri’s extradition so that he can face trial in that country.

The Phoenix field office of the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Phoenix field office of Homeland Security Investigations worked together to conduct the arrest of al-Nouri.

Progress on multiple fronts

“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-Qaida terrorists in Al-Fallujah, Iraq, which planned operations targeting Iraqi police,” the DOJ said in a statement.

The department continued: “Ahmed and other members of the al-Qaida 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.”

Should the extradition of al-Nouri be certified in federal court, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make the final decision about whether he will indeed be surrendered to Iraq.

Another al-Qaida leader, Qassim al-Rimi, was reportedly killed in Yemen last month as the result of an airstrike, according to The New York Times, but an official announcement of his death is still pending official confirmation of the fatality.

Confidence that al-Rimi was indeed killed in the strike, however, is reportedly high.

Decisive administration action

The arrest in Arizona and the successful January airstrike show a continued commitment by this administration to fight terrorism wherever it threatens U.S. interests. While President Trump clearly does not want to provoke a war with the countries in which these terrorists typically live and hide, he also understands the importance of destroying the ability of ISIS and al-Qaida to harm Americans.

Far from being the isolationist some of his critics have claimed, the president has been able to strike an effective balance between accomplishing his anti-terror goals without becoming embroiled in protracted conflicts abroad.

Full-scale war has fortunately become a rare thing in the developed world, but Trump fully appreciates the ongoing threats posed by terrorists across the globe and is willing to take decisive steps to eradicate the danger whenever it rears its head.

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