Somalia: U.S. Offers U.S.$5Million for Any Information Which Could Lead to Arrest of Top Al-Shabaab Fighter

US authorities have offered a $5 million for information leading to the arrest of a former San Diego man believed to be the highest-ranking United States citizen fighting Al-shabab.

Jehad Serwan Mostafa, 37, is charged in a superseding indictment with providing support to Somali-based terrorist organization al-Shabaab, described by prosecutors as a "militant Islamic" group responsible for numerous deadly attacks on Somali government and military members in East Africa.

Mostafa is charged with criminal activities dating from 2008 to 2017, though authorities told reporters Monday afternoon that he's believed to still be working in a central role planning al-Shabaab's operations against the government of Somalia.

Federal prosecutors said Mostafa was born in Wisconsin, but grew up in San Diego's Serra Mesa neighborhood and attended high school and college in San Diego.

In 2005, he left the country for Yemen and later Somalia, according to Scott Brunner, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's San Diego division.

At some point, Mostafa joined al-Shabaab, which has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda and claimed responsibility for attacks that involve murder, kidnapping and the use of weapons of mass destruction, U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said.

The group's goal is to institute " a rigid interpretation of Sharia law" in Somalia by destabilizing the country through attacks against Ethiopian, Somali and other African Union forces, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Mostafa as allegedly participated in terrorist attacks, trained soldiers and acted as a media spokesman for al-Shabaab. Video clips played during the news conference showed an apparently masked Mostafa appearing at a Somali refugee camp, in which he read a statement paying tribute to Osama Bin Laden.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Erin Westfall said it's believed Mostafa is in southern Somalia, where the terrorist group's stronghold is located, but that the public's assistance is needed to locate his exact whereabouts.

Mostafa was originally charged in a three-count indictment in 2009, but the superseding indictment unsealed Monday expands the scope of the original charges through 2017, according to prosecutors.

Anyone with information regarding Mostafa's whereabouts is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or send tips online to tips.fbi.gov . Information can be provided anonymously

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Dalsan Radio

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.