Chicago - On Feb. 13, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport arrested Ali Ahmed Abooedella, 35, on a rape warrant after he attempted to return to his home country of Libya.
On Feb. 12, Abooedella departed the U.S. on a flight bound for Libya, via the United Kingdom. The warrant out of Glendale, Colo., was issued that same day. CBP quickly alerted the authorities in London of his arrest warrant and upon landing; Abooedella was denied entry to the United Kingdom and returned to the U.S.
As Abooedella stepped off the airplane in Chicago, he was taken into custody by CBP officers at O'Hare Airport, where he was processed, and turned over to the Chicago Police Department to await extradition back to Glendale. Abooedella was in the U.S. on a tourist visa when the alleged sexual assault took place.
"The use of a law enforcement databases and intelligence by CBP officers at international ports of entry is extremely instrumental in the apprehension of wanted and sometimes very dangerous individuals fleeing prosecution from this country," said Steven Artino, acting CBP director of field operations in Chicago. "This is another fine example of our CBP border search authority in action and partnerships with local and international law enforcement agencies to catch fugitives who try to run from the law."
While welcoming and processing all legitimate travelers and trade into this country, CBP officers enforce a host of U.S. laws at the borders to keep terrorists and other dangerous persons such as fugitives out of our neighborhoods. CBP also prevents narcotics, agricultural pests and smuggled goods and other contraband from entering and exiting the country.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.