In April 2016, Mohammed Jabbateh, aka Jungle Jabbah, was arrested in Pennsylvania, USA. On the 2nd October 2017, the U.S. Government’s immigration fraud case against the Liberian citizen, Pennsylvania resident, and alleged war criminal began in Philadelphia. Jabbateh was charged with two counts of fraud in immigration documents and two counts of perjury for having lied to authorities about his war time activities. He was a ULIMO commander, then later ULIMO-K post-faction split, during the First Liberian Civil War and responsible for commanding atrocious wartime crimes including murder, conscription of child soldiers, and cannibalism. 

A jury convicted Jabbateh on 18 October 2017. On 19 April 2018, Jabbateh was sentenced to 30 years in prison, the maximum possible sentence for his charges. This sentence is also one of the longest sentences for immigration fraud in U.S. history. 

Civitas Maxima and the Global Justice and Research Project collaborated with the U.S. authorities on the investigation since 2014.

This trial was the first ever trial against a ULIMO commander and the first time that victims testified in a criminal trial about crimes committed during the First Liberian Civil War.

On September 8, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia rejected Mohammed Jabbateh’s appeal, upholding his conviction and 30-year prison sentence.

The Appeal Court’s decision describes Jabbateh’s actions as being carried out “with bone-chilling cruelty”, and stated that: “The horrors recounted at trial, retold only in part here, are indescribably tragic”, “None, including the jury that weighed impartially the mountain of evidence marshalled against Jabbateh, would view his conduct as anything less than monstrous.”

FactionULIMO
NationalityLiberian
Period of Activity First Liberian Civil War
IndictmentImmigration Fraud
StatusIn prison