The US State Department has offered a $10 million (Sh1.2 billion) reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest of three al-Shabaab leaders, bringing the total reward value to Sh3.6 billion.
An additional Sh1.2 billion has been offered for information leading to the disruption of the financial mechanisms of the Somalia-based terror group.
“The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, which is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, is increasing its reward offers to up to $10 million each for information leading to the identification or location of al-Shabaab key leaders Ahmed Diriye, Mahad Karate, and Jehad Mostafa,” the government agency said in a statement on Monday.
Mr Diriye, al-Shabaab’s emir since September 2014, is linked to the 2020 attack on Camp Simba in Manda Bay that killed one American soldier and two US contractors. Mr Karate is al-Shabaab’s second or shadow deputy emir, and maintains some command responsibility over Amniyat, al-Shabaab’s intelligence and security wing, the US said.
According to the FBI, Mr Mostafa is the highest-ranking terrorist with US citizenship fighting overseas.
The US embassy in Nairobi says the three are responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in Somalia, Kenya and neighbouring countries.
“Jehad Mostafa is a former resident of California. Mostafa 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,” the embassy said.
It added: “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.”