Printed on: October 05, 2012

U.S. citizen sentenced to life in Iraqi prison


BAGHDAD (AP) -- An Iraqi court has sentenced an American citizen to life in prison on charges of assisting al-Qaida and financing terrorist activities in Iraq, according to a government statement Thursday.

The Interior Ministry said Omar Rashad Khalil, 53, was recruited by al-Qaida in Iraq in 2005. Khalil, an architectural engineer, is of Palestinian descent and entered the country in 2001, the ministry statement said.

The ministry released excerpts from a confession it said Khalil made in which he allegedly admitted to receiving money from a Syrian man in the United Arab Emirates to pay for terror attacks.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Frank Finver issued a statement saying embassy officials were aware of the report. The statement did not give further details, citing privacy act considerations, and referred questions to local authorities and Khalil's attorney.