In Summary
  • Jehad Serwan Mostafa, a 37-year-old US native, is described as a long-time leading figure in Al-Shabaab
  • He is on the FBI's 'Most Wanted Terrorist' list
  • The FBI said it learned this year that Mostafa has taken on a leadership role in al-Shabaab's explosives department

The US State Department is offering a $5 million (about Sh508 million) reward for information on the whereabouts of an American citizen said to be a leader of Al-Shabaab's bomb-making operations.

Renewed attention to the reward, first posted in 2013, came as prosecutors in California unsealed on Monday a previously secret set of criminal charges against Jehad Serwan Mostafa, a 37-year-old US native described as a long-time leading figure in Al-Shabaab.

“We believe this defendant is the highest-ranking US citizen fighting overseas with a terrorist organisation,” said Robert Brewer, the top federal prosecutor in southern California.

“Al-Shabaab’s reign of terror threatens US national security, our international allies and innocent civilians,” Mr Brewer added.

“Today we seek the public’s assistance in capturing Mostafa and disrupting Al-Shabaab.”

Special FBI Agent Scott Brunner specifically called for the assistance of East Africans in locating Mostafa, who is believed to be based in southern Somalia.

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