By Leo Hohmann
The fact that a Somali Muslim war criminal booted from Canada could somehow land a job at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., appears shocking on its face – but at least six dozen other employees with suspected terror links have been caught working at U.S. airports.
A CNN investigation found that Yusuf Abdi Ali, who is accused of committing atrocities while he was a military commander during Somalia’s civil war, has been living a quiet suburban life in posh Alexandria, Virginia, for about 20 years, CNN reported.
He was deported from Canada after that country found out about his past. But he found refuge in the U.S., which gave him a visa based on his marriage to a Somali-American woman who claimed to be a refugee fleeing war in Somalia. But even that claim turned out to be bogus, as the woman had falsified her refugee application. Still, nothing has been done to remove either Ali or his wife from the U.S.
As shocking as it may sound, this is not the first incidence of an immigrant with ties to Islamic terrorism or other crimes working at an airport in America.
Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request in March reveal 73 people employed by major airlines at 40 airports nationwide were flagged for potential ties to terrorism.
Terrorism-linked employees have also been flagged at Boston’s Logan International Airport, Seattle’s Sea Tac Airport, Denver International Airport, Honolulu International Airport, Dallas Love Field, San Francisco International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport, among others.
These employees were not properly vetted because the TSA said it did not have full access to terrorist databases during their hiring, according to an Inspector General’s report.
“Without complete and accurate information, TSA risks credentialing and providing unescorted access to secure airport areas for workers with potential to harm the nation’s air transportation system,” the report found.
In 2014, three Somali “refugees” with ties to either ISIS and/or al-Shabab were arrested after it was discovered they had plans to travel overseas and fight with the terrorist organizations. All three had security clearances for jobs at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport that allowed them to go into areas travelers were not allowed, Fox 9 reported.
ne of the men, Abdisalan Hussein Ali, blew himself up at a military checkpoint in Mogadishu in 2010. Just four years earlier, he was serving coffee at the Caribou Coffee in Concourse G, right across from customs. One of the other two also became a suicide bomber.
In light of the missing EgyptAir Flight MS804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea two weeks ago, it was reported in November, 2015 that dozens of Paris airport workers were on a terror watch list.
One can only guess how many others are jihad sympathizers or how many still work there and at other airports throughout Europe, Canada and the U.S.
As a result of CNN’s investigation, Ali has been placed on administrative leave.
“Most Americans would be shocked to learn that ‘refugee’ status vaults a person to the front of the job placement line,” former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann told WND. “What is puzzling is that so many of these jobs are in our nation’s airports. Coincidence? Why aren’t ‘refugees’ working in agriculture or in kitchens, or in nursing homes?
“Why in America’s airports, often in charge of security systems?
We will look back on the Obama years not as coincidences, but as goals met.”
Clare Lopez, vice president for research and analysis at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, said the entire U.S. system for screening applicants to enter this country – whether asylee, immigrant, non-immigrant or refugee – is broken.
She said it is forbidden to ask the kind of direct questions about a person’s ideological beliefs that a trained officer might ask to ensure the applicant honestly will renounce all other legal allegiances to live only under the U.S. Constitution.
“Worse yet, we know from DHS whistleblower Phil Haney that even when derogatory information about individuals with connections to terrorist organizations is entered into the system, it sometimes gets deleted – on purpose,” she adds.
Haney, a 12-year veteran officer with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, has co-authored a new book, “See Something Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad,” about the Obama administration’s focus on protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of suspected jihadists, placing those concerns above that of protecting the American public.
“As any frequent traveler knows, there are visibly Shariah-compliant Muslims – with full Salafi-cut beards and mustaches, hijabs, and other clothing intended to communicate allegiance to the Islamic legal system called Shariah – at most major metropolitan airports in America,” Lopez told WND.
“Some of them even combine their Shariah-compliant clothing with TSA ‘uniforms.’ At a time when the threat from Islamic terrorism to the flying public has never been more dangerous, screening procedures for entry to the U.S. as well as for airport employment must be tightened.”
Name checks with terrorist databases are inadequate for the thousands who don’t appear on such lists, or whose names are spelled in various ways, or whose documents are either fraudulent or non-existent to begin with, Lopez said.
“As things are now, the potential for jihadist infiltration is a disaster waiting to happen,” she said.
Somali war criminal has ‘rights’ in U.S., lawyer claims
Ali is being sued in a U.S. civil court. The lawsuit, which a human rights group initially filed in 2006, calls Ali a “war criminal” who committed “crimes against humanity.”
Ali and his lawyer, Joseph Peter Drennan, deny all accusations listed in the CJA lawsuit. Drennan said his client “has as much right as anyone else to live in the United States.”
Ali was deported from Canada after news about his alleged war crimes in Somalia became public through the CBC documentary.
Ali entered the U.S. on a visa through his Somali wife, Intisar Farah, who became a U.S. citizen after coming to the U.S. as a refugee. The U.S. has taken in more than 132,000 Somali refugees since 1983.
But even his wife’s history is marred. In 2006, she was found guilty of naturalization fraud for claiming she was a “refugee” from the very Somali clan that Ali is accused of torturing. But she apparently served a light sentence and was never deported as the CNN crew filmed Ali walking out of his apartment with his hijab-wearing wife.
His lawyer, Drennan, said there should be no concerns whatsoever that Ali was working at an airport, according to the CNN report.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told CNN it was aware of Ali’s past but refused to answer any questions about him, nor would ICE give CNN the terror suspect’s immigration status.