PHOENIX — A Syrian man has been extradited to Arizona to face charges of conspiring to use improvised explosive devices against U.S. forces in Iraq, the FBI said Thursday.
Ahmad Ibrahim al-Ahmad appeared in federal court in Phoenix on Thursday after being extradited from Turkey a day earlier, the FBI said.
Al-Ahmad was originally arrested in Turkey in 2011 after being secretly indicted in Arizona in 2011, the FBI said. The charges accuse al-Ahmad him of conspiring between 2005 and 2010 to supply bomb components to an Iraqi insurgency group, the 1920 Revolution Brigades, for use in IEDs that were used against U.S. military personnel.
Al-Ahmad also is charged with possession of a destructive device during a crime of violence, the FBI said.
The 1920 Revolution Brigades was a small jihadist group that was active against U.S. forces in Sunni-dominated parts of Iraq until it switched sides in 2007 to join the fight against al-Qaida.
Court records in the case remained sealed Thursday, and FBI spokesman Daniel Musser said he couldn’t immediately provide specifics on why the case is being prosecuted in Arizona.
“There was a connection” to Arizona, he said.
Musser declined to discuss whether the attacks resulted in American casualties and said he didn’t know whether the IEDs were roadside bombs, car bombs or some other type of device.
The spokesman also said he didn’t know where al-Ahmad was arrested in Turkey, or whether he has an attorney who could be reached for comment.
According to the FBI, if al-Ahmad is convicted of the offenses alleged in the indictment, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Associated Press writer Jacques Billeaud contributed to this report.
PAUL DAVENPORT, Associated Press