Former California Man May Be Top Terror Leader

Wednesday, 09 Nov 2011 05:46 PM

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A former San Diego man who was indicted for aiding the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab now may be one of its top leaders.

U.S. officials say the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab in Somalia has recruited more than 40 Americans, reports KPBS in San Diego.

Among those Americans is Jehad Mostafa, according to KPBS and other sources. In an interview with NBC, one counterterrorism official described Mostafa, who grew up in San Diego, as a "pretty bad dude" who has worked with al-Shabab for a sufficient amount of time to be a key player. A grand jury in San Diego indicted him for aiding the group.

Federal prosecutors in San Diego declined comment to KPBS, which reported that Mostafa attended the Al Ribat Mosque in La Mesa, Calif., near San Diego.

This is the same mosque that was once led by al-Qaida leader Anwar Awlaki, who was an adviser to the 9/11 hijackers and other terrorists. A U.S. drone strike assassinated him in Yemen in September.

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