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News: US offers $10 million in reward for information on al-Shabab leader Maalim Ayman

After the attack on Manda Bay Airfield, al-Shabab released a video on the attack showing the weapons used. Picture: Open Source

Addis Abeba – The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program has offered reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of al-Shabab leader Maalim Ayman any other individual responsible for the January 2020 terrorist attack on Manda Bay Airfield, Kenya.

On 05 January, 2020, al-Shabaab terrorists attacked Kenyan and US personnel at the Airfield, killing two US contractor pilots and a US Army specialist acting as an air traffic controller. A third US contractor and two other US service members were injured in the attack al-Shabab claimed responsibility for.

Maalim Ayman is the leader of Jaysh Ayman, an al-Shabaab unit conducting terrorist attacks and operations in Kenya and Somalia, and was responsible for preparing the January 2020 attack the press release said, adding that, he was designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in November 2020.

The reward also extends to any other “individual who committed, attempted, or conspired to commit, or aided or abetted in the commission of the January 5, 2020, terrorist attack”.

The Manda Bay Airfield is part of a Kenyan Defense Forces military base used by US armed forces to provide training and counter-terrorism support to East African partners, respond to crises, and protect US interests in the region, the press release added.

Since its inception in 1984, the Rewards for Justice program has paid in excess of $250 million to more than 125 people across the globe who provided actionable information that has helped resolve threats to US national security.

In July 2022, Al-Shabaab militants breached the Afder zone of Somali region in Ethiopia from a base in Aato, a border town in neighboring Somalia, and attempted to overrun several places before they were repelled by combined regional and federal forces. AS

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