Top al-Shabaab militant with $3M bounty on his head 'surrenders' in Somalia

The US offered millions of dollars for information on him

Emma Finamore
Saturday 27 December 2014 17:08
Al-Shabaab fighters still pose a serious threat, despite recent losses
Al-Shabaab fighters still pose a serious threat, despite recent losses

A leader of Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab has surrendered himself to police, a Somali intelligence official has claimed.

Ismail Ahmed Hersi had a three-million-dollar bounty attached to him by the US in 2012, for any information leading to his capture.

The Somali intelligence officer, who remained anonymous, said Hersi may have surrendered because of conflict within al-Shabaab.

He claimed Hersi fell out with other millitants loyal to Ahmed Godane, al-Shabaab's key leader, who was killed in a US airstrike earlier this year.

Hersi was among eight al-Shabaab members on whom the US government wanted information, offering a total of $33 million in rewards.

Voice of America journalist Haran Maruf claims that in a recent interview, Hersi said he left al-Shabaab 18 months ago, and was unaware of the bounty placed upon him by the US.

The group has carried out many terror attacks in Somalia and neighbouring countries including Kenya, whose armies are vital to bolstering Somalia's weak, UN-backed government.

Additional reporting by AP

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