U.S. offers millions in bounties for leaders of Somalia’s Al Shabab terrorist group | Toronto Star
By Michelle Shephard
The U.S. is offering millions of dollars for information concerning seven leaders of Somalia’s Al Qaeda affiliate, al-Shabab, increasing pressure on a group already under military siege.
Included on the list is suspected Shabab financier, Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, known more commonly as Fuad Shongole, who holds both Somali and Swedish citizenship.
Four Somali teenagers who had hands and feet amputated by the Shabab in a Mogadishu stadium in the summer of 2009 said they met Shongole during their captivity.
Ismail Khalif Abdulle, one of those teenagers whose story the Toronto Star has been following from Mogadishu to Norway, where he has was granted refuge last year, said while he was still in Shabab custody and recovering from his wounds, Shongole came to him.
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“Fuad Shangole looked at my leg and said it was too long and it needed to be shortened and he put three fingers on my leg and said, ‘That’s where it needs to be cut off,’ ” Ismail said in a 2010 interview from Nairobi following his escape.
The 17-year-old was then held down as his leg was further sawed off.
The Shabab claimed the boys were thieves and their punishment justified. They said they had been tracked down after refusing to join the Shabab, and their severed limbs hung in the town as a warning to others.
The U.S. listed the Shabab, also known as Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahidin, a terrorists entity in 2008, followed two years later by Canada. It is believed as many as 20 Canadians have traveled to Kenya and Somalia to join the group that Canada’s security services track closely.
The greatest reward for information on Shabab leaders — the first time such rewards have been offered for the group — is $7 million (U.S.) for Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed Godane, the group’s leader, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubair.
Photo: Michelle Shephard/ Toronto Star File Photo