Report: An Accused Somali War Criminal Is Working as an Uber and Lyft Driver

A Somali man accused of torture and directing mass executions was hired by Uber and Lyft to shuttle people around, according to CNN. Both ride-share services approved Yusuf Abdi Ali to work for the companies—which, according to his Uber profile, he has been doing for the past 18 months. “They just want your background check, that's it,” Ali is said to have told undercover CNN reporters who recorded him during a ride in his white Nissan. The former military commander, who said he works as a full-time driver in suburban Virginia, was listed as an “Uber Pro Diamond” driver with a 4.89 rating on the Uber app. According to CNN, while he was never convicted of a crime, he was featured in a documentary by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation about Somalia's civil war in the 1980s, with eyewitnesses reportedly pinning him to killings. The companies have previously faced scrutiny for approving thousands of drivers who would’ve likely been disqualified due to criminal records. Uber said last year that it had committed to more vigorous background checks, noting in a statement that all drivers “must undergo a driving and criminal history background check reviewing local, state and national records, and we evaluate eligibility in accordance with criteria set by local laws.”