The US government on Wednesday offered rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the capture or conviction of two US citizens alleged to have become fighters for the Somalia-based Islamic militant group al Shabaab.
In announcements posted on its "Rewards for Justice" website, the State Department identified the two men as Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abu Mansour al-Amriki, and Jehad Serwan Mostafa, alias Ahmed Gurey or Anwar al-Amriki. Hammami is a former resident of Alabama and Mostafa a former resident of California, it said.
Hammami is alleged to be a particularly notorious American volunteer for al Shabaab who made propaganda videos for the group, including pictures portraying him as a fighter rather than a mere spokesman, a US law enforcement official said.
The State Department said Hammami moved to Somalia in 2006 and a year later began serving as an al Shabaab propagandist, particularly targeting potential English-speaking recruits through writings, videos and rap songs. Federal authorities in Alabama issued a warrant for his arrest in December 2007.