Saturday August 7, 2021
Ali Mohamed Rage (L), also known as Ali Dhere, and Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir (R), also known as Ikrima were placed on the State Department's Specially Designated Global Terrorist. FILE
Mogadishu (HOL) - The U.S. State Department announced that it had added five alleged Islamist militants based in Africa to its Specially Designated Global Terrorist list on Friday, including two senior Al-Shabaab members.
Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, and Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, also known as Ikrima, were placed on the list alongside senior leaders from the Islamic State's Mozambique affiliate and Al Qaeda-linked militants based in Mali.
Ali Dhere has been Al-Shabaab's chief spokesperson since 2009 and is an influential member of the group's Shura Council. Despite his long-time affiliation with the group, Blinken's decision marked the first time Ali Dhere was designated a terrorist.
Ikrima is a Kenyan-born Al-Shabaab operational planner who has long been in the sights of the Americans. U.S. intelligence officials say that Ikrima is the central intermediary between several Al-Qaeda-linked organizations and that was directly involved in the planning for the infamous 2013 Westgate Mall siege in Kenya's capital that killed dozens of shoppers.
Ikrima has lived in Europe and speaks several languages, including English, Somali, Swahili, French, Norwegian and some Arabic.
The State Department is currently offering a $3 million reward for information that will lead to his arrest.
There are now fourteen Al-Shabaab members on the U.S. terror list.
Also included in the latest Specially Designated Global Terrorist list are Bonomade Machude Omar, the senior military commander of Islamic State's affiliate in Mozambique, along with Sidang Hitta and Salem Ould al-Hasan, senior leaders of Mali-based al Qaeda-linked Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin.
Individuals or entities placed on the Specially Designated Global Terrorist are found to have either committed or pose a risk of committing acts of terrorism by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Individuals or foreign financial institutions who engage in financial transactions with the people on the list may be subject to U.S. sanctions.