American Emissary to Shabaab
The US State Department's Rewards for Justice program posted $5 million rewards for information leading to the arrest or conviction of two Americans who have served in leadership positions in Shabaab, al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia. One of the Americans, Jehad Serwan Mostafa, is believed to have served as an emissary for Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's emir, the FBI told The Long War Journal. The other, Omar Hammami, is currently engaged in a personal dispute with Shabaab.
The $5 million rewards offered for Mostafa and Hammami match that of 37 other terrorists in the Rewards for Justice program. The program offers a higher reward for only seven other terrorist leaders and operatives. Ayman al Zawahiri tops the list at $25 million.
Mostafa "has performed various functions for al Shabaab, including acting as a training camp instructor and a leader of foreign fighters," the Rewards for Justice fact sheet stated. "He is also skilled in the group's media activities." In 2005, he left California and traveled to Somalia to wage jihad. "He may have or is likely to visit the following areas: Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia, Kenya, and other African countries," the statement continued.
In October 2009, Mostafa was charged with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and conspiracy to support terrorists and foreign terrorist groups.
Mostafa is also known as Emir Anwar, Ahmed Gurey, and Anwar al-Amriki. But one other nom de guerre that he goes by is Abu Abdullah al Muhajir, which is the same name used by the representative of Ayman al Zawahiri who distributed aid to Shabaab [see LWJ report, American al Qaeda operative distributes aid at Somali relief camp].
In November 2011, Abu Abdullah al Muhajir was seen on a Shabaab propaganda videotape that showed him distributing aid to Somalis at a relief camp just south of the capital of Mogadishu.
Muhajir was photographed with most of his face, except for his eyes, covered, along with Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, Shabaab's top spokesman. He handed out food, clothing, and Korans to Somalis at the camps. Muhajir said he was distributing the aid on behalf of Zawahiri. Just two months after the release of the tape, Shabaab officially merged with al Qaeda.
The Long War Journal asked the FBI unit that investigates Shabaab if it believes that Mostafa and Abu Abdullah al Muhajir are the same person. A spokesperson for the FBI's Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit responded: "Yes we do."
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 03/22/2013
The BasicsProject.org informational and educational pamphlet series is now available for Kindle and iPad. Click here to find out more...
The New Media Journal and BasicsProject.org are not funded by outside sources. We exist exclusively on donations from our readers and contributors.
Please make a sustaining donation today.