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US offers Sh1.2 billion reward for info on Manda Bay attack mastermind

Maalim Ayman is the prime suspect in the January 5, 2020 terrorist attack at Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya.

US air strike killed 27 al Shabaab militants in Somalia – Military (Hiraan)

The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program is offering a reward of up to Sh1.2 billion ($10 million) for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Maalim Ayman who is a suspect in the January 5, 2020 terrorist attack on US and Kenyan personnel at the Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya.

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Maalim Ayman is the leader of Jaysh Ayman, an al-Shabaab unit conducting terrorist attacks and operations in Kenya and Somalia.

In November 2020, the Department of State designated Ayman as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

In the pre-dawn attack, al-Shabaab terrorists killed a US soldier and two US. Department of Defense (DoD) contractors and wounded two other US service members and a third DoD contractor.

In a video subsequently released by al-Shabaab, a spokesperson for the group claimed responsibility for the attack.

An investigation by military defense body United States Africa Command uncovered that the Manda Bay attack in Lamu County may have been the result of “inadequate focus on potential threats, complacent leadership, and poor oversight”.

According to investigators, the deadly assault consisted of two attacks on the Manda airbase near Kenya’s border with Somalia.

Investigators determined that one, in which 10 mortar rounds were fired at Camp Simba, was intended to distract troops from responding to the main assault on Manda Bay’s air strip.

At 5:20 a.m. the base was overrun by 30 to 40 of Al Shabab's insurgents. The pre-dawn assault triggered a lengthy firefight and daylong struggle for Kenyan and U.S. forces to search and secure the base.

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