Somalia: US offers $5 million for key Al-Shabab leader

Washington (Caasimada Online) – The United States Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program has offered a bounty of up to $5 million for any information that can lead to the identification or location of Ali Mohamed Rage, a key leader of the terrorist organization al-Shabab in Somalia.  

The Diplomatic Security Service oversees the RFJ program, which aims to combat terrorism globally.

Who is Ali Mohamed Rage? 

Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dheere, has been the chief spokesperson for al-Shabab since May 2009 and is a senior leader of the terrorist organization. 

He was born in the Hawlwadag district of Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1966 and has been involved in planning attacks in Kenya and Somalia. 

On August 6, 2021, the United States Department of State designated Rage as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT), which blocks all of his property and interests in property.  

Anyone engaging in certain transactions with Rage may also face designation. Moreover, any foreign financial institution knowingly facilitating a significant financial transaction or providing significant financial services for Rage could be subject to U.S. correspondent account or payable-through account sanctions.

The United Nations Security Council’s Somalia Sanctions Committee added Rage to its Sanctions List on February 18, 2022, under paragraph 43(a) of resolution 2093 (2013) for engaging in or supporting acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Somalia. 

The UN designation requires UN Member States to impose an arms embargo, including related training and financial assistance, a travel ban, and an assets freeze on Rage.

Who is Al-Shabab in Somalia?

Al-Shabab is a terrorist organization responsible for attacks in Kenya, Somalia, and neighboring countries, resulting in loss of life, including that of U.S. citizens. 

The group is plotting, planning, and conspiring to commit terrorist acts against the United States, its interests, and foreign partners. 

In March 2008, the Department of State designated al-Shabab as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist. 

In April 2010, al-Shabab was added to the 1844 Sanctions List by the UN Security Council’s Somalia Sanctions Committee under paragraph 8 of resolution 1844 (2008). 

Why is the RFJ Program offering a reward for Rage?

The RFJ program is offering a reward for any information that can lead to the identification or location of Rage, as he is a senior leader of al-Shabab and has been involved in planning attacks in Kenya and Somalia.  

The program has been successful, with rewards leading to the capture or killing of high-profile terrorists such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.

The U.S. government believes that offering a reward for information on Rage can help disrupt al-Shabab’s operations and prevent future terrorist attacks.  

The RFJ program has been instrumental in bringing terrorists to justice. 

The U.S. government hopes that the reward for Rage will lead to his capture or location, ensuring that he is held accountable for his actions.