In this 1992 file photo, members of ULIMO, the militia of which Jabateh was a member, tease a suspected rival soldier with a mock execution on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. prosecutors will aim to convince a jury that Mohammed Jabateh — a devout, 50-year-old East Lansdowne business owner and father of five — was the man behind that string of atrocities during another life decades ago and an ocean away.
Years after the bloody back-to-back civil wars that roiled their country, villagers in Liberia’s northwestern borderlands still speak in hushed whispers about one man whose acts of sadism and butchery inspire anxiety to this day — a rebel commander they know only as “Jungle Jabbah.” The crimes they say he committed — rapes, murders, and acts of ritual cannibalism, evisceration, and enslavement — are innumerable. At their core, the charges against Jabateh are a simple matter of immigration fraud.
And in the village of Dasalamu in the country’s coastal plains, whole families recalled the day in 1994 when Jungle Jabbah and his forces rolled into town.
Commandos with AK-47s and names like Ten Thousand Man Trouble and Tom Tomi sped into the village on pickups amid a pouring rain, stirring panic.
One woman’s account details a dinner Jabateh and fellow commanders allegedly made of an enemy’s heart, while another man says he once witnessed the warlord behead a woman, cut out her intestines, and use them as rope at a checkpoint. Nor has he, in pretrial hearings, disputed that the man in the photo often displayed by prosecutors — a faded image of a gaunt young fighter dressed in military fatigues with an automatic rifle slung over his shoulder — is him.
“There is really no safe haven for war criminals,” one of the prosecutors, Assistant U. But he has repeatedly maintained that he played no part in the atrocities described by his accusers.
One man attempted to flee and was gunned down in the town square while relatives watched from a nearby grove of mango trees.
Soldiers went house to house, shooting men and attacking their wives.
When they were done with her, the same happened to her daughter, she said.
I should sue you civilly for the constant discrimination.
Starting Monday, Mohammed Jabateh, a 50-year-old Delaware County man, will face a federal trial on allegations he lied about his war crimes he allegedly committed during Liberia’s bloody civil wars.
Two weeks later, Jungle Jabbah and his men returned to town in a fury, according to the villagers’ accounts, corralling the locals at gunpoint in the town hall, beating the men with rifle butts as the screams of their wives, daughters, and mothers rang out from an adjoining room.
Eventually, one villager said, Kromah was dragged outside and killed, while Jungle Jabbah watched one of his soldiers’ cut into the man’s back with a machete.