US Offers $10 million for Information on Al-Shabaab Leaders

US ambassador to Somalia Larry Andre (R) and the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Kenya, Marc Dillard (L) addressing media Monday in Nairobi, Kenya. PHOTO CREDIT: US Embassy Nairobi.

The US government is offering a reward of $10 million, doubled from the previous offer to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of two Al-Shabaab leaders and a US citizen. The increased reward covers information about the group’s illegal financial dealings and businesses.

The three leaders are Mahad Karate, Ahmed Diriye and Jehad Mostafa are accused of plotting and carrying out attacks on Somalia and Kenya.

Speaking to journalists in Nairobi on Monday, Marc Dillard, deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Kenya, said any information leading to the arrest of the three leaders will help reduce terror activities.

“The announcement of a new initiative under the Rewards for Justice Program is to help remove the threat of Al-Shabaab and keep the United States, Kenya, Somalia and the world safer,” said Dillard.

Mahad Karate is the group’s second in command and oversees the intelligence and security wing of Aminiyat. Aminiyat is responsible for suicide bombings and assassinations in Somalia, Kenya and other countries.

Jehad Mostafa, a US citizen, is the leader of the group’s foreign members and is accused of training terrorist fighters and acting as a go-between for the group and other terrorist groups.

Ahmed Diriye is another Al-Shabaab’s top leader. US officials say he was seen in a video meeting the fighters who carried out a terror attack against U.S. military base in Kenya’s coastal town of Lamu, killing one American soldier and two contractors.

US government doubles the reward to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of three Al-Shabaab leaders. PHOTO CREDIT: US Embassy Nairobi.

The US Department of State’s Reward for Justice Program increased the reward, now covering the Somali-based terror group Al-Shabaab financial networks.

“The new program is aimed at disrupting Al-Shabaab’s financial networks, said Larry Andre, US ambassador to Somalia. “This program fortifies a key pillar of the Somali government’s own strategy for defeating Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab has extorted funds from the people of Somalia for too long, using violence and intimidation to finance mass murder.”

Al-Shabaab funds its terror activities and provides financial support to the al-Qaida terror network through illegal taxation and extortion.

Dillard said that the reward announcement demonstrates his country’s determination to disrupt and dismantle the group’s network of revenue sources and funding streams.

“By limiting Al-Shabaab’s cash flow, the United States and our partners will strike a blow to the organization’s ability to perpetrate violent acts throughout the world.”

The Monday’s announcement is the first time the Department of State has offered a reward specifically for information on Al-Shabaab’s financial activities.