U.S. federal authorities have reasserted they have not cancelled the $5 million bounty placed on an American suspected to be the leader of Al-Shabaab’s explosives-making squad in Somalia.
According to reports appearing on the U.S. media on Tuesday, FBI has unsealed fresh indictments on Serwan Mostafa, the 37-year old citizen of the U.S. Serwan is the highest-ranked American to have joined a foreign terrorist organization.
For nine years, Mostafa’s name has appeared in the list of the country’s most wanted terrorists. In 2004, he traveled to Yemen before making his way to Somalia later. While in the Horn of Africa country, he fought against Ethiopian forces before rising through the ranks of Al-Shabaab.
Mostafa’s involvement with Al-Shabaab has caused thousands of innocent deaths in Africa. Thousands more have been hurt, according to the freshly released indictments.
Last month, the United Nations said that Al-Shabaab is now capable of assembling bombs using local technologies and skills.
“After years of trying, we can now conclude that Al-Shabaab has shifted its bomb-construction methods. We are able to make this conclusion based on post-blast lab analyses. The analysis shows that the militant group has moved from military-grade explosives to home-made explosives (HMEs),” said the UN Panel of Experts in a report that it released last month.
In October 2017, Al-Shabaab deployed one of its biggest ever bombs, which killed more than 60 people in Somali’s capital while injuring over 300 others.
Al-Shabaab never claimed responsibility for the October 2017 attack. However, the Somali government – in conjunction with Western intelligence agencies – squarely placed the blame on the terrorist group’s doors.