MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A member of imprisoned former Liberian President Charles Taylor’s security forces has been deported from the United States back to the West African country, immigration enforcement officials said.
Alexander Mentol Zinnah, 56, had been living in Minnesota. Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported him Tuesday and flew him to Liberia, where he was turned over to Liberian law enforcement.
In 2017, federal agents based in St. Paul arrested Zinnah for immigration violations. Zinnah was a member of a rebel group led by Taylor, who was Liberia’s president from 1997 until he resigned in 2003, ICE said. Taylor is serving a 50-year prison sentence for war crimes related to atrocities in neighboring Sierra Leone.
According to ICE, Zinnah was a member of Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia, which sparked a civil war that left more than 200,000 civilians dead. Zinnah also was a member of the Liberian National Police and served as a commander in Grand Gedeh County, Liberia, while Taylor was president of Liberia, ICE said.
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.