DULLES, Va. - A man accused of committing war crimes during his time as a military leader during Somalia’s civil war has been working as a security guard at Dulles International Airport.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority told FOX 5 that Yusuf Abdi Ali went through the full, federally mandated vetting process to get approved for an airport badge.
The process includes a criminal history records check by the FBI, a security threat assessment by the TSA, and being licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
His past, as an allegedly vicious Somali military commander is easily found on internet searches.
The Canadian Broadcasting Company documented the allegations against Colonel Yusuf Abdi Ali in a 1992 report. Ali, also known as Colonel Tukeh, was living in Toronto at the time of the broadcast. Many Somalis told personal accounts of executions and torture at Ali's hands.
The Canadian Broadcasting Company says he was deported to the United States after their report.
Now living in Alexandria, Virginia, Ali is being sued for "crimes against humanity" by the Center for Justice and Accountability on behalf of one of his alleged victims.
Until this week, Ali was working as an unarmed security guard at Dulles International Airport. His employer, Master Security, told us through chief executive offcier Rob Weinhold:
"Master Security was unaware of the pending litigation. However, due to the very serious nature of the allegations, we have placed Mr. Ali on administrative leave while our organization reviews all of the facts and circumstances surrounding this case."
On Wednesday, Rob Yingling, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said in a statement:
“The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority maintains a contract with Master Security to provide unarmed security services. Master Security's employees are subject to the full, federally mandated vetting process in order to be approved for an airport badge, including a criminal history records check by the FBI and a security threat assessment by the TSA. In addition, the contract with Master Security requires that all employees be licensed security guards by the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have verified that all of these processes were followed and approved in this instance. “We have been informed by Master Security, which hired Mr. Ali, that he has been placed on administrative leave, and as a result his access to the airport has been withdrawn.”
At the time of the Canadian Broadcasting Company broadcast, Yusuf Ali's attorneys said the story is false and that Mr. Ali has lived an ordinary life since coming to northern Virginia.
Congresswoman Barbara Comstock is requesting a full, in-person, briefing from the Department of Homeland Security and other relevant agencies to get the facts behind this troubling allegation.