FBI(WASHINGTON) — He grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and for a time made his living driving a taxi in the area.
But on Thursday, Liban Haji Mohamed was added to the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list, and a $50,000 reward was offered for information leading to his capture and conviction.
The FBI says Mohamed, a naturalized citizen born in Somalia, used his U.S. passport to travel to East Africa in July 2012 to fight with the terror groups al-Shabaab and al Qaeda. He’s been charged with providing material support and resources to a terrorist organization. The FBI says it believes Mohamed is still in East Africa.
“We know he’s received training with weapons,” Lindsay Ram of the FBI’s Washington Field Office told ABC News. “We don’t want him using his passport to come back into the United States. He knows the language, the [Washington] area, the culture and even the transportation of the region, so we are concerned that he may try to come back to utilize those skills.”
Agent Ram also pointed out that Mohamed was a close associate of Zachary Chesser, another young man from the Washington suburbs who turned to terror. Chesser allegedly played a key role in al Qaeda’s propaganda efforts before his arrest, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2011 for providing aid to terrorists.
The FBI says it suspects that, like Chesser, Mohamad was also using his English language skills and knowledge of U.S. culture to help al Qaeda’s recruitment and propaganda efforts. In an effort to push back in the propaganda wars, the FBI has set up a Facebook page in the Somali language, and is circulating wanted posters of Mohamed in Somali as well.
With the addition of Mohamed, there are now 31 individuals on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list. Suspects on the list have been charged in the U.S. for their alleged involvement in various terrorist attacks or planned attacks around the world against U.S. interests. And Mohamed is not just wanted by the FBI; last August, Interpol issued a red notice to seek Mohamed as a wanted fugitive.
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