Iraq's Interior Ministry says a U.S. citizen of Palestinian descent was convicted on terrorism charges and sentenced to life in prison.

A ministry statement says 53-year-old Omar Rashad Khalil was accused of assisting Al Qaeda and was convicted of financing terrorist activities in Iraq.

The ministry says Khalil is an architectural engineer and is also known as Abu Mohammed. He was sentenced by Baghdad's central criminal court on Wednesday.

Iraqi government officials could not be reached for more details Thursday. A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad declined immediate comment.

The Sunni-dominated Al Qaeda in Iraq has for years sought to undermine Iraq's Shiite-led government with large-scale attacks that target security forces and Shiites almost every month.