The FBI placed Liban Haji Mohamed on its list of most-wanted terrorists in January for allegedly providing support to al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda.
A former Virginia cab driver who was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for allegedly supporting terrorists has been detained in Somalia, according to multiple reports.
Somalia’s National Security Services said on its Facebook page Tuesday that its agents captured Liban Haji Mohamed in Mogadishu.
The security services posted the news after U.S. officials told the Washington Post late Tuesday that the 29-year-old had been captured.
The FBI declined comment on the reported arrest to BuzzFeed News.
The FBI placed Mohamed on its list of most-wanted terrorists in January and offered a reward of $50,000 for information leading to his arrest.
Mohamed is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, and used to work as a cab driver in the suburbs of Washington D.C.
According to the FBI, while in Virginia he began to work as a “recruiter and radicalizer” for al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda linked terror group in Somalia.
In July 2012, Mohamed allegedly left the U.S. for East Africa to join the militant group. The FBI said they believed he has since been working there as an operative.
“It is important for us to locate Mohamed because he has knowledge of the Washington, D.C. area’s infrastructure such as shopping areas, Metro, airports, and government buildings,” Carl Ghattas, the special agent in charge of the counterterrorism division at the FBI’s Washington field office, said in a press release. “This makes him an asset to his terrorist associates who might plot attacks on U.S. soil.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia has issued a warrant for Mohamed’s arrest on charges of providing support to al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda.
Officials told the Washington Post that the U.S. is working to bring Mohamed back to the U.S. They said it will be difficult because the U.S. and Somalia don’t have an extradition treaty.
The FBI said Mohamed is a known associate of Zachary Chesser, a man who was convicted in 2011 of providing support to al-Shabaab.
The FBI became familiar with Mohamed during their investigation of Chesser, the Washington Post reported. Officials wanted to arrest Mohamed while he was living in Virginia, but didn’t have the evidence.
According to officials, the FBI planned to intercept Mohamed as he tried to travel to Africa via Mexico. However, Mohamed was able to leave the country undetected, the Washington Post reported.
An attorney for Mohamed’s family told the Washington Post that his relatives don’t buy the charges because they have family members that have been killed by al-Shabaab.
The family has not talked to Mohamed since 2012, the lawyer said.