US offers $10 million reward for information on Al-Shabab leader Maalim Ayman

Washington (Caasimada Online) – The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program announced on Thursday a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Maalim Ayman, leader of Jaysh Ayman, an al-Shabaab unit operating in Kenya and Somalia. 

Ayman is wanted in connection with the January 2020 terrorist attack on US and Kenyan personnel at the Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya, in which a US soldier and two US Department of Defense contractors were killed, and two other US service members and a third DoD contractor were injured.

Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate based in East Africa, has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

The group, designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US Department of State and a terrorist organization by the UN, is responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in the region that have killed thousands of people, including US citizens.

In a statement, the US Department of State said, “Al-Shabaab continues to plot, plan, and conspire to commit terrorist acts against the United States, US interests, and foreign partners. We will not rest until justice is served for the victims of this attack and their families.”

The Manda Bay Airfield is part of a Kenyan Defense Forces military base used by US armed forces to provide training and counterterrorism support to East African partners, respond to crises, and protect US interests in the region.

In November 2020, Ayman was designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US Department of State under Executive Order 13224. In February 2021, he was also designated by the UN Security Council’s Somalia Sanctions Committee.

“The attack on Manda Bay Airfield was a brutal and cowardly act of terrorism that will not be tolerated,” said the US Department of State. “We are committed to bringing those responsible to justice and will use all means at our disposal to hold them accountable for their actions.”

This reward offer is part of a larger US government effort to bring terrorists to justice and prevent acts of international terrorism. The Rewards for Justice program has paid over $250 million to more than 125 people since its inception in 1984.