Moses Thomas was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Armed Forces of Liberia and the commander of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (SATU), an elite special-forces operations unit established as a personal guard to then President Samuel Doe. According to CJA’s case, the SATU perpetrated an attack against unarmed civilians sheltering at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Monrovia, killing 600 men women and children displaced during the armed conflict. The attack, committed on July 29, 1990, was one of the single deadliest events in Liberia’s first civil war, which spanned from 1989 to 1997.Thomas is believed to have ordered the attack and was the highest-ranking commander present in charge.
In 2009, Thomas was named by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia as a potential perpetrator of wartime atrocities and was recommended for further investigation and prosecution. As a longtime U.S. resident, Thomas is only amenable to suit in the United States.