Yusuf Abdi Ali "oversaw some of the most incredible violence that you can imagine," Center for Justice and Accountability attorney Kathy Roberts tells CNN. "He tortured people personally; he oversaw torture." But despite the war crimes allegations, the Somali man has been working as a security guard at the DC-area Dulles International Airport for the last six years. The CJA, which is pursuing a landmark war-crimes case against Ali, says he committed atrocities as a commander in the Somali military during a brutal civil war in the 1980s. Canada kicked him out over the allegations after he fled there in the early '90s, but he was able to move to the US and has been living quietly in Virginia for more than 20 years.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority confirmed to Fox News that Ali, an employee of Master Security, was fully vetted and passed FBI and TSA background checks. Roberts tells CNN that Ali "arrested people, stole their stuff, burned villages, executed masses of people" and that it's disturbing he's now in a position of trust. "While I don't imagine that he's committing these same kinds of crimes at Dulles airport, I think it's very disconcerting," she says. Ali—who firmly denies the allegations—was placed on administrative leave after his employer became aware of the CJA lawsuit. The civil lawsuit, which was filed in 2006, is now headed to the Supreme Court, where it could set an important precedent on whether US residents can be pursued in the courts for war crimes committed in other countries. (Read more war crimes stories.)