A cold-blooded ISIS executioner has been hiding in plain sight in Sacramento, CA, welcomed as an Iraqi refugee due to a broken American immigration system.
Despite his protected refugee status, Omar Ameen, a suspected fighter for the terrorist Islamic State, was finally brought to justice on Wednesday after the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in California arrested him for murdering an Iraqi police officer in 2014.
In plain sight
Extradition documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California allege that Ameen took part in the ISIS takeover in Iraq. As part of a terrorist convoy that captured the Rawah District in Western Iraq, Ameen joined an ISIS hit squad in taking out a local law enforcement official.
An arrest warrant issued for Ameen on May 16, 2018 described the murder:
On it about June 22, 2014, at or around 7:00 p.m., a four-vehicle ISIS convoy comprised of several individuals, including Ameen, arrived at the residence of the victim. Members of the convoy opened fire. In response to the attack on his home, the victim returned fire with his Kalashnikov rifle.
Ameen then fired his weapon at the victim while the victim was on the ground. A death certificate issued by the Rawah hospital confirms the victim’s death by gunshot to the chest.
An Iraqi witness who saw the events unfold identified Ameen as the killer of local police official Ihsan Abdulhafiz Jasim. In addition to this horrific offense, witnesses also told the FBI that Ameen was involved in other terrorist activity as one of the founding members of Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terror organization that eventually became the Islamic State.
“In actuality,” the Justice Department stated, after interviewing witnesses, “numerous crimes ranging from robbery to placing [improvised explosive devices],” or the military nomenclature for roadside bombs.
Terrorist hitman awarded refugee status
Ameen, who is 45-years-old, first applied for refugee status in while residing in Turkey in 2012. Three weeks after the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement notified Ameen that he could legally come to the U.S., he committed the 2014 murder.
An excerpt from the 9/11 Commission Report notes that, “For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons.” Unfortunately, Ameen was fully weaponized by the U.S. government when they granted him refugee status.
To qualify as a refugee, Ameen had to convince customs officials that his life was in danger. The ISIS thug created a fantasy story where his father was killed working to support American armed forces, and his brother was kidnapped by members of the Shiite Mahdi Army.
In fact, Ameen completely avoided any suspicion from the U.S. government, which often depends on criminals to openly admit that they are wanted for crimes in the absence of more thorough vetting procedures. Like many other refugee applicants coming from terrorist havens, Ameen only needed to deny questions about his affiliation with terrorist organizations.
“Have you ever interacted with, had involvement with, or known any members of … Al Qaeda in Iraq … the Islamic State of Iraq or any other armed group or militia?” an agent from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services asked Ameen.
“No,” Ameen lied. Documents show that he denied ever committing any crimes in Iraq.
Because he denied any ties to Al Qaeda or ISIS, customs officials failed to ask follow-on questions related to terrorist activity. “Ameen’s negative answers cut off a line of questioning relevant to his admissibility to the United States,” the Justice Department filing states.
According to Jessica Vaughan, an analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies, the fact that Ameen slipped through the cracks and was living in virtual anonymity in America is “a sad illustration of the inherent problem in our vetting system.”
President Donald Trump attempted to resolve this issue with an executive order popularly called the “travel ban” by supporters and the “Muslim ban” by opponents. The initial version of the executive action temporarily banned Iraqi visitors from U.S. soil until Baghdad came up with an improved means of identifying potential terrorists and criminals for U.S. customs officials.
However, Iraq was removed from future versions of the order after backlash from Baghdad and members of the U.S. military. Secretary of Defense James Mattis asked that Iraq have its travel privileges restored, and the country was removed from the list of nations identified as having problems with domestic vetting procedures.
Perhaps it is time for American policy-makers to re-evaluate that decision.