A new federal indictment charges a U.S. citizen on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List with additional crimes involving Connections to Somalia’s al-Shabaab rebel group
A U.S. citizen on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List was charged with additional crimes involving ties to Somalia’s al-Shabaab rebel group, according to a federal indictment unsealed Monday.
Jehad Serwan Mostafa, 37, a former San Diego resident, was indicted on similar charges in 2009.
Without providing specifics, the new counts accuse him of having key roles in al-Shabaab actions and providing material support from 2008 to 2017.
The FBI did state it learned this year He is a pioneer in al-Shabaab’s “explosives department.”
“Today, Mostafa is believed to be the highest-ranking United States citizen fighting overseas for a terrorist organization,” stated Scott Brunner, the agent in charge of the FBI office in San Diego.
The group claimed responsibility for 2 Sept. 30 strikes on U.S. and European military targets in Somalia, including one by an estimated 25 fighters who had been killed when they attempted to storm the Belidogle army airstrip, which hosts Somali and U.S. forces.
Mostafa was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and raised in San Diego, where police say he’s relatives. He graduated from University of California, San Diego at 2005 and — according to a FBI poster offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest — combined al-Shabaab around 2006.
Mostafa was among a few young Muslims in the U.S. who took high-visibility roles within the al-Qaida-linked insurgent force.
He was president of the now-defunct Muslim Youth Council of San Diego, which said on its website that it had been “dedicated to showing the world that Islam is a religion of peace and Muslims are a peaceful and productive part of society.”
Mostafa’s dad, Halim Mostafa, a Kurdish Syrian, made a low-budget movie, “Mozlym,” which premiered in 2008 and billed as an attempt to demonstrate how the real meaning of Islam is often lost amid misconceptions of non-Muslims in the usa.