He’s accused of war crimes and torture. Uber and Lyft approved him to drive.
By Scott Bronstein, Curt Devine and Drew Griffin, CNN
Updated 11:49 AM ET, Wed May 15, 2019
(CNN)Where does an alleged war criminal accused of torture and directing mass executions look for work while living in the United States? For Yusuf Abdi Ali, there was an easy answer: Uber and Lyft.
Within a couple of days of applying to be a ride-share driver, Ali said he was approved to shuttle passengers from place to place. He’s been doing it for more than 18 months, according to his Uber profile.
When CNN reporters recently caught a ride from Ali, the former Somali military commander was listed on Uber’s app as an “Uber Pro Diamond” driver with a 4.89 rating.
Asked if the application process was difficult, Ali replied that it was a breeze. …
“They just want your background check, that’s it,” said Ali, who was unaware that undercover CNN reporters were riding with him and recording the trip on video. “If you apply tonight maybe after two days it will come, you know, everything.”
Ali’s work as a ride-share driver raises new questions about the thoroughness of Uber and Lyft’s background check process and the ease with which some people with controversial pasts can get approved to drive.
Uh … doesn’t this raise questions about the thoroughness of U.S. immigration background checks and the ease with which people with controversial past (such as being Somali war criminals) can get approved to live in America?
… Ali has not been convicted of a crime, but a basic internet search of his name turns up numerous documents and news accounts alleging he committed various atrocities while serving as a military commander during Somalia’s civil war in the 1980s.
His past was detailed in a documentary by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that featured eyewitnesses in northern Somalia who described killings allegedly committed under the direction of Ali, also known as “Colonel Tukeh.”
Another witness in the same village said, “He caught my brother. He tied him to a military vehicle and dragged him behind. … He shredded him into pieces. That’s how he died.”
So, if you’ve been drinking too much and might vomit all over the back seat of your Uber, pick a different driver.
Following CNN’s inquiries, an Uber spokesperson said the company had suspended Ali’s access to the app as it reviewed the matter.
But this war criminal being deported from the U.S. would just be wrong. Just lie back and think of the Statue of Liberty.
This week, Ali is defending himself against a civil suit filed in federal court in Virginia by a man who claims he was one of Ali’s victims in 1988. Farhan Mohamoud Tani Warfaa alleged in court documents that Ali tortured and shot him and ordered bodyguards to bury his body. The guards recognized that Warfaa, a farmer, had not died and accepted a bribe from his family to release him, according to documents.
… According to public accounts, Ali moved to Canada after the Somali military regime he worked under collapsed in 1991. He was deported after news about his alleged war crimes in Somalia became public through that CBC documentary.
United States of America … proud to be accepting Canada’s Rejects since 1991!
Ali entered the United States on a visa through his Somali wife who became a US citizen. In 2006, his wife was found guilty of naturalization fraud for claiming she was a refugee from the very Somali clan that Ali is accused of torturing.
In 2016, CNN reported that Ali had been working as a security guard at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC.
He was fired from that job shortly after the CNN story aired.
Ali is apparently the CNN Washington Bureau’s go-to guy on a slow news day. “Let’s go see where Ali is working now?” Probably in 2022 they’ll run a story that Ali is now Ilhan Omar’s campaign manager in her Senate race.
This guy is going to be on welfare until he dies in expensive Greater Metro D.C. because CNN keeps getting him fired. But to deport him would make the Statue of Liberty cry.
Somali War criminals are Who We Are.