WASHINGTON -- A Turkish man who is wanted for prosecution in the United States on terrorism charges has instead been deported by Germany back to his home country, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
The case concerns Adem Yilmaz, who was indicted under seal in 2015 on charges of participating nearly 10 years earlier in attacks on U.S. military forces along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was also charged with giving advice and instructions on military-type training to a man involved in a 2008 suicide bombing in Afghanistan that killed two American soldiers and injured at least 11 others.
Yilmaz told German law enforcement in 2009 that he remained a member of a group called the Islamic Jihad Union and that "as long as the war is going on, I will fight against the Americans," according to the indictment.
"We are gravely disappointed by Germany's decision to deport a dangerous terrorist — Adem Yilmaz — to Turkey, rather than to extradite him to the United States to face justice for his complicity in the murder of two American servicemen," acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in a statement Wednesday evening.
The indictment against Yilmaz, brought in the Southern District of New York and unsealed earlier this week, includes charges of providing material support to a terrorism organization and aiding and abetting military-style training.
Yilmaz was in German custody when the U.S. government made the extradition request. The U.S. government, Whitaker said, had sought review of a "German court's recent decision to change the terms of our extradition treaty with Germany and deny his extradition to the United States."
Instead, he said, the "German government deliberately helped Yilmaz escape justice by placing him on a plane to Turkey."
"The German government has refused to take any responsibility for failing to extradite him to the United States, has flouted their treaty obligations and has undermined the rule of law," Whitaker said.