FBI Most-Wanted Terrorist Allegedly Planned To Target & Recruit Westerners For Al-Shabab
(New York, N.Y.) – This week, former Northern Virginia resident and FBI most-wanted terrorist Liban Haji Mohamed, was indicted in federal court on charges of conspiring to provide material support to the Somalia-based terrorist group, al-Shabab. The complaint alleges that after fleeing the United States in 2012, Mohamed reportedly planned to join al-Shabab upon his departure to East Africa and use his media skills to promote online propaganda for the terrorist organization.
While al-Shabab’s recruitment efforts are primarily focused on Somalia and Kenya, the group’s use of social media for propaganda has attracted recruits from around the world, including the United States. The FBI has identified and stymied several attempts by al-Shabab to recruit American fighters over the Internet and in person. A 2011 U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security investigation further corroborated that al-Shabab recruiters have used mosques and cafes as meeting places to radicalize and recruit. Alabama native Omar Hammami, for example, appeared in several online videos in which he urged foreigners in English to “live the life of a mujahid.”
Americans began traveling to Somalia to join al-Shabab in 2007 when the terror group stepped up its insurgency against Somalia’s transitional government. Most American fighters for al-Shabab have been radicalized in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home to the largest Somali diaspora in the U.S.
To read CEP’s Al-Shabab resource, please click here.