A reward of up to $5 million is available for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Jehad Serwan Mostafa.
A video released by the FBI Monday afternoon shows the 37-year-old U.S. citizen praising Osama bin Laden.
FBI Agent Scott Brunner said, “Today, we are here to announce the unsealing of a superseding indictment which charges a former San Diego resident with terrorism.”
Investigators called Mostafa the highest-ranking U.S. Citizen fighting with the Somalian-based terrorist group al-Shabaab.
“Al-Shabaab’s reign of terror threatens United States national security, our international allies and innocent civilians everywhere,” Agent Brunner said.
The indictment expands the scope of an earlier indictment now covering Mostafa’s activities to up to early 2017.
With recent calls by al-Shabaab to its followers encouraging them to attack U.S. citizens, the FBI said hunting Mostafa down has become even more urgent.
“For over a decade, Mostafa has played a critical role in al-Shabaab operations,” Agent Brunner said. “This includes media operations, training of soldiers, participating in attacks on Somali government forces and African Union troops and holding various leadership positions.”
From the brief information released about Mostafa, it’s unclear what caused the Wisconsin-born man to turn to terrorism.
He reportedly grew up in the Sarah Mesa area, attended Mesa College and graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2004. Just two years later. The FBI says his involvement with terrorist groups began.
“We believe Mustafa has played and will continue to play an active role in terrorist acts by al-Shabaab and he must be stopped,” Brunner stated.
Tips about Mostafa can be made anonymously.