11/26/2022
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Former high-ranking Somali lieutenant colonel accused of human rights violations arrested in Springfield


Saturday November 19, 2022
By Troy Pope

He's accused of extrajudicial killing; torture; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; and arbitrary detention, Homeland Security said.



SPRINGFIELD, Va. — A former high-ranking Somali army officer accused of multiple human rights violations against Somali civilians during the 1980s was arrested in Springfield, Virginia, Homeland Security Investigations announced Friday.

Special agents arrested Yusuf Abdi Ali, aka “Tukeh,” Thursday, in Springfield for those human rights abuses.

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He's accused of extrajudicial killing; torture; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; and arbitrary detention, Homeland Security said.

Homeland Security said that Ali, 69, served as a lieutenant colonel in the Somali National Army and Commander of the Fifth Brigade in Northwest Somalia from approximately May 1987 to July 1988 under the dictatorship of Siad Barre. 

During that time, the Somali army committed numerous serious human rights violations against civilians, according to Homeland Security.

“While Yusuf Abdi Ali’s apprehension cannot undo the pain that he allegedly inflicted upon the victims of his purported human rights abuses, it is my sincere hope that by seeing him answer for his apparent role in these heinous crimes, they will be given some form of peace,” said Derek W. Gordon, Acting Special Agent in charge of HSI Washington, D.C. “HSI Washington, D.C. is dedicated to protecting the law-abiding residents of the Washington, D.C. Metro area, while continuing to search out those who intend to benefit from the abuse of others.”

A jury in the Eastern District of Virginia found Ali liable in a civil suit in 2019 for the torture of a Somali herder and awarded the plaintiff damages.

Ali previously drove for Uber and Lyft in Virginia, according to reporting by CNN.

Police identified the victims as 40-year-old Elise Wars and her 4-year-old daughter Khori Ashton. The two were staying at the hotel since at least June.



 





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