USA offers $10 million reward for information on al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Diriye
By BRUHAN MAKONG
Saturday September 9, 2023
The United States government is offering a reward of up to 10 million dollars for any information leading to the location of Ahmed Diriye, also known as Ahmed Umar and Abu Ubaidah. Abu Ubaidah is a prominent member of the Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab, which is linked to Al-Qaeda.
The State Department Rewards for Justice Program issued a statement stating that Abu Ubaidah currently holds the position of leader within Al-Shabaab, taking over after the death of the previous leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane.
At the time of Godane’s death, Abu Ubaidah was a trusted member of his inner circle.
The United States has connected Abu Ubaidah to various attacks in the East African region, specifically in Kenya.
“Under his leadership, Al-Shabaab terrorists have carried out numerous attacks in Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and Djibouti, resulting in the deaths of many individuals,” stated the US State Department on Thursday.
Prior to his promotion as the leader of Al-Shabaab, Abu Ubaidah held various positions within the group, including serving as Godane’s assistant and as a regional governor in Somalia.
By 2013, he had become a senior adviser to Godane and was responsible for overseeing the group’s activities within Somalia.
Abu Ubaidah shares Godane’s extremist ideology and shares Al-Qaeda’s global ambitions.
In 2015, the US Department of State designated Abu Ubaidah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, leading to the blocking of his assets and prohibiting US individuals from engaging in any transactions with him.
Al-Shabaab has been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the Department of State since 2008.
In 2010, the UN Security Council’s Somalia Sanctions Committee added Al-Shabaab to the 1844 Sanctions List.