Iraqi refugee detained for murder can be deported
Sacramento, California. An Iraqi refugee accused of murdering the Islamic State group before coming to the United States is eligible for deportation because he lied about his immigration papers, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Tara Nasilu Nahas ruled that Omar Abdul Sattar Amin lied when filling out his asylum application to enter the United States. Among other things, I found that he was not being truthful when he said that he had never dealt with, knew or participated in various terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq.
But it dismissed other allegations, including that he provided support, participated in terrorist activity, participated in harming another person, or falsified that he was a member of such a group.
Naselow-Nahas found that Amin dealt with a cousin who was “obviously a member of an armed terrorist group”. It also found that the government had proven that he had lied when he said that his father had been fatally shot and that his brother had been kidnapped.
The judge said, on the government’s recommendation, he should be deported to Iraq, or if not there to his last home in Turkey.
Amin’s lawyers say he likely faces execution if returned to Iraq. Another federal judge in Sacramento in April refused to allow his extradition. U.S. Magistrates Judge Edmund Brennan said mobile phone evidence shows Emin was in Turkey at the time of the 2014 killings.
Federal authorities have tried since 2018 to return Amin to Iraq under a treaty with that country, and immigration authorities quickly arrested him after Brennan’s rule. His attorney, Siobhan Waldron, said Amin would continue to fight deportation, and would seek his release on bail.
He can now object that he is at high risk of being deported, even though he has been shown to qualify. He will appear before Naselow-Nahas for a week of hearings scheduled for late January and early February, and if she rules against him she can seek review by the Immigration Appeals Board and then the Ninth US Court of Appeals.
“The fighting isn’t over yet,” Waldron said. She claimed that “this is all based on baseless rumours.”
Over the days of intermittent hearings spread over several months, FBI investigators testified that Amin told inconsistent stories under questioning, and that close family members also had links to terrorist groups. Amin argued that he felt coerced during the interviews out of fear for his family.
Federal prosecutors said he returned to Iraq the same month and killed a police officer in the town of Rawa after it fell to the Islamic State. Amin arrived in the United States five months later to be resettled as a refugee in Sacramento, California.
The Iraqi government said that Amin was part of an ISIS convoy of four cars that opened fire on the home of a Rawa police officer. The Iraqi documents said that Amin then fired a fatal shot at the chest of Ihsan Abdul Hafeez Jassim while he was lying on the ground. The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the killing on social media.
The Department of Homeland Security alleged that Amin kept his membership in two terrorist groups a secret when he applied for refugee status, and again when he later applied for a green card.
Amin fled to Turkey in 2012. He was granted refugee status in the United States in June 2014 on the grounds that he was a victim of terrorism.
Brennan said in April that cellphone records showed “Amin was in Turkey, not Iraq, on the day of the killing.” The judge noted that Amin passed a polygraph test and said he had “serious doubts” about the credibility of the witnesses who put Amin in Iraq at the time of the killing.
Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.