The U.S. Department of the State is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a former San Diego resident on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list.
Fugitive Jehad Serwan Mostafa (pictured above, right) is a U.S. citizen who lived in San Diego before moving to Somalia in 2005.
Investigators say Mostafa has served as a media expert and leader of foreign fighters for the Somalia-based terrorist group, al-Shabaab. He was indicted in San Diego in October 2009 on charges of conspiring to provide material support to al-Shabaab.
According to investigators, Mostafa is has used the birth years of 1981 and 1986. He has also used the aliases Ahmed Gurey, Anwar al-Amriki, Emir Anwar and Abu Abdullah al-Muhajir.
Back in August 2010, NBC 7 San Diego reported that Mostafa was a former employee at an auto shop located on El Cajon Boulevard.
Today, agents believe Mostafa is living in Somalia. He may have visited Yemen, Ethiopia, Kenya and other African countries, according to investigators.
Investigators describe him as a 6-foot-1 American male with a light complexion, a beard, brown hair and blue eyes. He’s approximately 170 pounds and speaks Arabic, Somali and English. He’s left-handed and wears eyeglasses. He has a large scar on his right hand and a small scar on the top of his left index finger.
Investigators say Mostafa has supported al-Shabaab in several roles, including acting as a training camp instructor and leader of foreign fighters.
In addition to the $5 million reward offered for information leading to Mostafa, the U.S. Department of State has also announced a $5 million reward for information leading to another alleged member of al-Shabaab, Omar Shafik Hammami (pictured above, left).
Hammami is a U.S. citizen and former resident of Daphne, Ala. Investigators say he moved to Somalia in 2006 where he joined and received training from Islamist militants. He has served as a propagandist for al-Shabaab, recruiting English-speaking youth through his writings, rap songs and video statements, according to the FBI.
Hammami has also served as a military commander, leading foreign fighters under Mostafa’s command. He was indicted in September 2009 on charges of providing support to al-Shabaab.
Investigators believe Hammami currently lives in Somalia. He’s 28 years old, 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds. He has a light complexion, brown hair, brown eyes and speaks Arabic, English and some Somali.
The FBI says anyone with information about Mostafa or Hammami should contact the U.S. Department of the State’s Rewards for Justice office at (800) 877-3927 or visit this this website.
The FBI says both fugitives should be considered armed and dangerous, so anyone with information should contact their local FBI office or the nearest American embassy or consulate.
Darrell Foxworth with the San Diego FBI told NBC 7 Mostafa could still have local ties, even if he hasn’t lived in San Diego for several years.
"There may be people still in contact with him. Just because he is in Somalia, he’s not here in San Diego, that doesn't mean he's not maintaining communication through the internet or some other means," said Foxworth.
This isn’t the first time a San Diego resident has had ties to al-Shabaab.
In February, a group of local Somali immigrants – including a popular imam at a City Heights mosque – were convicted by a federal jury for allegedly providing support to al-Shabaab and conspiring to raise money for the Somalia-based terrorist group.
In December 2012, a San Diego woman was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for conspiring to send nearly $1,500 to four Somalian men fighting for al-Shabaab.
The FBI says al-Shabaab is a violent militia group that engages in suicide bombings, targets civilians for assassination and uses improvised explosive devices. The group was formally named as a foreign terrorist organization in February 2008 by the U.S. Department of State.