Colonel Yusuf Abdi Ali (a.k.a. Tukeh) is a native of Somalia and a permanent resident of the United States. Col. Tukeh, commanded the Somali National Army’s Fifth Brigade in the late 1980s, giving him authority over the remote northern town of Gebiley and the areas surrounding it.
Eyewitness accounts suggest he willfully participated in the escalating violence against people of Isaaq heritage. As early as 1984, Col. Tukeh and his troops were terrorizing the local Isaaq population, conducting mass arbitrary detentions, subjecting people to cruel and inhuman treatment and torture, including starving and beating them, even killing them in mass summary executions. Col. Tukeh and his troops burned homes and ransacked the livestock of rural and nomadic people, and they plundered the wealth of city-dwellers with impunity.
Col. Tukeh personally participated in the torture and summary execution of countless innocent people. Toward the end of his reign of terror, in June 1988, Col. Tukeh used a ruse to disarm the Isaaq soldiers under his command, and he sent them under guard to Hargeisa to be executed as part of the mass executions of Isaaq people taking place there at that time.
Col. Tukeh was in the United States in 1990 when the Barre regime was on the verge of collapse. Col. Tukeh fled to Canada, and he applied for asylum there in 1991. He was deported from Canada in October 1992 based on evidence of his extreme brutality. He came to the United States and filed for permanent residency in 1993. Facing deportation from the U.S., he was allowed to voluntarily depart the country in 1994. Nonetheless, in 1996, Col. Tukeh was permitted to return to the United States, and he has lived openly in Virginia ever since.
Col. Tukeh resides in Fairfax, Virginia, and the case against him is proceeding before the Eastern District of Virginia.