Washington – The U.S. State Department has announced to offer rewards of 27 million dollars for information on six “key leaders’’ in the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab.
The department on Wednesday in Washington gave the breakdown as six million dollar offer for information on Abu Ubaidah, who became head of the terrorist group after a U.S air-strike, took out Ahmed Abdi Godane in September 2014.
Also, there is five million dollars for information on Mahad Karate, who allegedly planned the attack on Kenya’s Garrissa University College that killed 148 people.
The same reward is for two other al-Shabaab planners, Ma’alim Daud and Hassan Afgooye.
Three-million-dollar rewards are in place for two other leaders, Maalim Salman and Ahmed Iman Ali.
“Since 2006, al-Shabaab has killed thousands of civilians, aid workers and peacekeepers in Somalia, Uganda and Kenya.
The reward announcement came after the Somali Prime Minister, Omar Sharmarke, warned the UN that al-Shabaab had proclaimed its allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group, posing the possibility of a renewed threat to the region.
He said resolving the crisis in Yemen was crucial to keeping the Islamic State organisation out of Somalia as extremists could use Yemen as a “conduit or launching pad’’.
Al-Shabaab is a militant group seeking an Islamist state in Somalia.
It controlled most of southern and central Somalia and parts of Mogadishu in 2009-2010 before being driven out of key cities. (dap/NAN)