Northern Virginia man indicted on terrorism charges

On the run for almost eight years, Liban Haji Mohamed, 34, a Somali-born naturalized U.S. citizen, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring and attempting to provide material support to al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab is a Somali-based insurgent and terrorist group that has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly attacks in eastern Africa, and it is known to have recruited Westerners.

Mohamed, a taxi driver, who lived in Northern Virginia, is believed to have left the U.S. on July 5, 2012, and headed to East Africa with the intent to join the group.

Liban Haji Mohamed
Liban Haji Mohamed. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy FBI)

He disappeared several months after his close associate Zachary Chesser pleaded guilty to similar charges in federal court. Chesser is now serving 25 years in a federal prison for his conviction.

According to court documents, Mohamed, who speaks several languages, allegedly planned to use his own media skills to improve al-Shabaab’s propaganda machine, a key part of its recruiting efforts.

In January 2015, the FBI announced the addition of Mohamed to the “Most Wanted Terrorists” list. There is a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

The FBI describes Mohamed as “a recruiter and radicalizer for al Shabaab.”

He allegedly attempted to recruit an undercover agent to travel to Somalia to provide combat training to al-Shabaab fighters.

In July 2012, Interpol, an international police organization, issued a red notice seeking Mohamed as a wanted fugitive.

Individuals with information concerning Mohamed are asked to contact the FBI or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the FBI.

Additional information regarding Mohamed, including a poster with his picture, can be found on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list.

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J.J. Green

JJ Green is WTOP's National Security Correspondent. He reports daily on security, intelligence, foreign policy, terrorism and cyber developments, and provides regular on-air and online analysis. He is also the host of two podcasts: Target USA and Colors: A Dialogue on Race in America.

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