Alleged Al Qaeda Leader Arrested In Arizona, Where He Taught Driving School

REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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A man who the Iraqi government says was the leader of an Al Qaeda cell who took part in the murders of two Iraqi police officers was arrested Thursday in Phoenix, where he reportedly taught driving school.

Authorities arrested Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri, 42, following an extradition request from Iraq, federal prosecutors said Friday. An Iraqi judge issued a warrant for Al-Nouri’s arrest on May 12, 2019 on charges that he took part in the premeditated murder of two police officers in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2006.

Prosecutors said that the Iraqis believe Al-Nouri was a leader of the Al Qaeda cell in Fallujah, a stronghold for the terrorist group, which Osama bin Laden led at the time.

A complaint against Al-Nouri unsealed Friday says that he led an Al Qaeda group on a mission to kill Iraqi police officers. The group allegedly ambushed and murdered officer Issam Ahmed Hussein on June 1, 2006 and officer Khalid Ibrahim Mohammad on Oct. 3, 2006. (RELATED: Osama Bin Laden’s Son And Heir Is Dead, Officials Say)

AFGHANISTAN - UNDATED FILE PHOTO: Saudi dissident and suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is seen in this undated file photo taken somewhere in Afghanistan. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Senate Budget Committee February 11, 2003 that he had read a transcript from bin Laden or someone believed to be him, speaking about his partnership with Iraq from an Al Jazeera tape. The Arab satellite station aired a statement allegedly from Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Getty Images)

Osama bin Laden is seen in this undated file photo taken somewhere in Afghanistan. (Photo by Getty Images)

Al-Nouri will be held in federal custody until his extradition hearing, where a judge will review information the Iraqis provided.

It is unclear when Al-Nouri came to the U.S. He ran A-Plus Driving School in Phoenix, according to The Arizona Republic. Business records show that Al-Nouri formed the company on June 22, 2016.

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