ICE officials can't release status of man accused in Mapleton rape

Abdulrahman Ali, 35, in Cass County Court on December 7, 2015
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Fargo, N.D. (Valley News Live): New information in our continued investigation into a Muslim man accused of raping a woman at a Mapleton, North Dakota travel plaza. Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ali remains in the Cass County Jail. The federal government says they cannot tell us Ali’s immigration status or if he’s a naturalized citizen. We investigated to find out why this is not a matter of public record.

Shocked: that’s what regular customers at Gordy’s Travel Plaza said on the day of the assault back in early December.

“So it is just shocking, I mean you get to know every customer that comes in here,” said Jeremy Johnson from Colfax, ND.

35-year-old Abdulrahman Ali faces aggravated assault, rape and terrorizing charges after officials say he forced a woman working at the gas station into a bathroom, locked the door and attacked her.

Immediately after Valley News Live reported this story, a question many people had was, what is Ali’s status in this country? Is he a citizen? Does he have a Green Card? Is he an immigrant or refugee?

Valley News Live reached out to the Department of Homeland Security in the days following the assault, requesting any and all documentation related to Ali’s background. The agency said it could take weeks. Finally, a spokesman for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE finally responded: “legally I can’t release information about his legal status in this country.”

Valley News Live was told that its private information protected under federal law. Also, ICE explained that if you have a Green Card, you are treated basically the same as a U.S. citizen, with a few exceptions here and there. Someone can have their Green Card revoked for ‘crimes against moral turpitude’, meaning murder, rape, abuse kidnapping and robbery among other things.

“We saw after he came here, after 2011. June,” said Asli Ali.

Abdulrahman Ali’s sister, Asli, said he has been in the U.S. since 2011 and he emigrated from Kenya. So we know that Ali is not originally from the United States, but we do not know if he has a Green Card or is a naturalized citizen.

Abdulrahman Ali is due back in court January 13 for a preliminary hearing.