A former Virginia cab driver, suspected of being a recruiter for al-Shabab and traveling to Somalia to aid the militant group, was added to the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list Thursday.
Authorities believe Liban Haji Mohamed, 29, left Northern Virginia in July 2012 to travel to Somalia and join up with the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group. They warn that his knowledge of D.C.-area infrastructure makes him a dangerous asset for terrorist groups seeking to plot attacks in the region.
A federal warrant unsealed Thursday for Mr. Mohamed’s arrest accuses him of providing material support and resources to a designated terrorist organization.
“Not only did Mohamed choose to go to Somalia and fight with al-Shabab, he took a prominent role in trying to recruit people and have them train with weapons,” said Carl Ghattas, special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division at the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Mohamed is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Somalia. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to his capture.
“It is important for us to locate Mohamed because he has knowledge of the Washington, D.C. area’s infrastructure such as shopping areas, Metro, airports, and government buildings,” Mr. Ghattas said. “This makes him an asset to his terrorist associates who might plot attacks on U.S. soil.”
Interpol first issued a notice identifying Mohamed as a wanted fugitive in August 2014.
The FBI believes that he remains in Somalia working on behalf of al-Shabab, which has claimed responsibility for numerous bombings across East Africa.
Authorities say he alsocould be using the aliases Abu Ayrow, Shirwa, Shirwac, Qatiluhum, or Qatil.
Mohamed is further described as being a close associate of Zachary Chesser, a Fairfax County man convicted in 2010 of attempting to provide support to al-Shabab and of threatening the writers of the Comedy Central TV show “South Park” for its depiction of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.