The U.S. Department of State announced on Friday that the government is offering rewards of up to $9 million for information regarding three major members of the al-Qaeda affiliate Al Shabaab, which is based in the struggling nation of Somalia.
American law enforcement and security officials are eager to arrest Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, a/k/a "Ikrima," an Al Shabaab leader known for recruiting young Kenyans and for his leading a force of Al Shabaab's Kenyan Islamists in Somalia.
Abdikadir is a Kenyan citizen born in Mombasa. He is said to be one of the most dangerous and ruthless commanders in the Islamist movement. Well educated, he is able to speak at least five languages.
Also wanted is a terrorist who goes by one name, Jafar, a.k.a. Amar, who is believed to be a deputy commander in Abdikadir's Kenyan united, while the third wanted terrorist, Yasin Kilwe, is described as Al Shabaab's emir in northern Somalia.
In their statement, State Department officials reported that Al Shabaab is responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians, as well as humanitarian aid workers and African Union peacekeepers in Somalia, Kenya and Uganda since 2006. It is affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen and with Boko Haram in Nigeria, according to a news story in the Examiner.
The Obama White House condemned terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Somali terrorists including one in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2010, and a major attack in Nairobi, Kenya, last September, that left over 70 people including one American citizen dead and many others wounded.
"Al-Shabaab's terrorist activities pose a threat to the stability of East Africa and to the national security interests of the United States," the State Department said.
The U.S. added the group to its foreign terrorist organization list in March 2008. In February 2012 Al Shabaab and al-Qaeda announced their affiliation, according to the Examiner.