This announcement marks the first time that the US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, has offered a reward for information on al-Shabaab’s financial networks.
The suspects are believed to be responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in Somalia, Kenya, and neighbouring countries that have killed thousands of people, including U.S. citizens.
The US Department of State designated al-Shabaab as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in March 2008.
In April 2010, Al-Shabaab was also designated by the UNSC’s Somalia Sanctions Committee pursuant to paragraph 8 of resolution 1844 (2008).
Ahmed Diriye, al-Shabaab’s emir since September 2014, was designated by the Department as an SDGT on April 21, 2015, and by the UNSC’s Somalia Sanctions Committee on September 24, 2014.
He was seen in a video meeting with al-Shabaab fighters prior to the January 2020 attack on Camp Simba in Manda Bay, Kenya, that killed one US Army soldier and two US contractors, three additional US personnel and one Kenyan soldier.
Mahad Karate was designated by the Department as an SDGT on April 21, 2015, and by the UNSC’s Somalia Sanctions Committee on February 26, 2021.
Karate is al-Shabaab’s second or shadow deputy emir and continues to lead some al-Shabaab operations.
Karate maintains some command responsibility over Amniyat, al-Shabaab’s intelligence and security wing, which oversees suicide attacks and assassinations in Somalia, Kenya, and other countries in the region, and provides logistics and support for al-Shabaab’s terrorist activities.
Jehad Mostafa is a US citizen and former resident of California. He has served as a military instructor at al-Shabaab training camps, a leader of foreign fighters, a leader in al-Shabaab’s media wing, an intermediary between al-Shabaab and other terrorist organizations, and a leader in al-Shabaab’s use of explosives in terrorist attacks.
In December 2019, he was indicted in federal court on charges of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to provide material support to al-Shabaab, and providing material support to al-Shabaab.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations believes Mostafa to be the highest-ranking terrorist with US citizenship fighting overseas.
Anyone with information about the suspects, Ahmed Diriye, Mahad Karate, and Jehad Mostafa, can contact US authorities via Signal, Telegram, or WhatsApp at +1-202-702-7843, or via local tips lines at +252 68 43 43 308 in Somalia and +254 71 87 12 366 in Kenya.