US Doubles Reward for Information on Top al-Shabab Leadership
The United States on Monday said that it was increasing its reward for information leading to the arrest of three key leaders of Somalia’s al-Shabab jihadist group to $10 million apiece, following a spate of deadly attacks.
The three include the group’s top two leaders – Ahmed Diriye and Mahad Karate – and a US citizen who has been part of the group for the past 14 years, Jehad Mostafa. Mostafa, a former resident of San Diego, California, functions as an intermediary between al-Shabab and other terrorist organizations. They are accused of having key roles in planning several deadly terrorist attacks in Somalia and Kenya.
The US State Department also said it was for the first time offering a reward of up to $10 million for information “leading to the disruption of the financial mechanisms” of the al-Qaida affiliate. Reward claimants would also be offered the possibility of relocation for their own safety.
Marc Dillard, deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Kenya, said the reward covers “information leading to the identification and disruption of al-Shabab’s revenue sources and funding streams. This includes information on al-Shabab’s exploitation of local natural resources, financial donors and facilitators, and financial transactions.”
US Ambassador to Somalia Larry Andre on Monday said the $10 million reward – doubled from the previous offer – will complement the Somali government’s effort to defeat the terrorist group.