A CNN report that Somalian immigrant accused in a civil lawsuit of committing war crimes is working as a security officer at Dulles Airport has raised concerns.
Yusuf Abdi Ali is described as a commander in the army of Mohamed Siad Barre, who was president of Somalia from 1969 until 1991. In the lawsuit brought by the Center for Justice and Accountability, Ali is accused of torturing clan members, burning villages and conducting mass executions in the 1980s. The lawsuit, coming from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ali moved to the United States 20 years ago and lives in Alexandria.
He was hired as an unarmed security worker at Dulles Airport by Master Security, which is under contract by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to provide the service. According to MWAA, the contract requires perspective employees to undergo a federally mandated vetting process before being approved for an airport badge. That process includes a criminal history records check by the FBI and a security threat assessment by the TSA. Also, Master Security requires its 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,” MWAA said in a statement. “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 Ali, that he has been placed on administrative leave, and as a result his access to the airport has been withdrawn.”
Following the CNN report, U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10) said she wants to know more details about the case.
“I am requesting a full in-person briefing from the Department of Homeland Security and other relevant agencies to get the facts behind this troubling allegation,” she said in a statement.