ICE removes Liberian security forces commander from Minnesota

An enforcer for now-imprisoned former Liberian President Charles Taylor has been deported from Minnesota back to Liberia.

Alexander Mentol Zinnah

An enforcer for now-imprisoned former Liberian President Charles Taylor has been deported from the United States back to the West African country, according to a release by immigration enforcement officials this week.

According to the release, Alexander Mentol Zinnah, 56, who had been living in Minnesota, was removed Tuesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations. Zinnah was flown to Liberia where he was turned over to Liberian law enforcement.

In 2017, ICE Homeland Security Investigations St. Paul arrested Zinnah for immigration violations and violating the terms of his parole into the U.S. An investigation revealed that Zinnah was a member of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, a rebel group led by Charles Taylor that engaged in a wide range of human rights abuses including massacres, torture, and kidnapping that reportedly left more than 200,000 civilians dead in a resulting civil war. Zinnah was also a member of the Liberian National Police and served as a commander in Grand Gedeh County, Liberia, during the time that Charles Taylor was President of Liberia. 

Charles Taylor was convicted in 2012 and was sentenced to 50 years imprisonment by an international court for human rights violations in Liberia from 1997-2003. He is currently serving his sentence in the United Kingdom.

An immigration court ordered Zinnah deported in May 2019. An immigration appeals board denied his appeal in January and his petition to be released from custody was dismissed by a U.S. District Court in February resulting in his removing this week.

Currently, HSI has more than 180 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,640 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries.

Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to call the ICE tip line at 1-866-DHS-2423 (1-866-347-2423). Callers may remain anonymous.

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