Federal authorities say a Liberian war criminal who allegedly lied about his past to enter the U.S. is being detained on immigration charges in suburban Philadelphia.

U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger announced Wednesday that 49-year-old Mohammed Jabbateh is charged with lying on his immigration forms while seeking asylum and residency nearly two decades ago.

An indictment says Jabbateh was a high-ranking officer in a Liberian rebel group for much of the 1990s. It says he committed or ordered others to commit war crimes including the murder of civilians, sexual enslavement of women, conscription of child soldiers, rape, torture and corpse abuse.

Jabbateh had been living in East Lansdowne. He made a brief court appearance and has a bail hearing set for Monday.

His lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment.