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Alexandria man, on most-wanted terrorists list, charged with aiding al-Shabab

Wednesday May 27, 2020

Liban H. Mohamed, a former Northern Virginia resident, is wanted by the FBI for allegedly conspiring with the terrorist group al-Shabab. (FBI)

An Alexandria man who fled the country in 2012 and was suspected of trying to recruit men to join the terrorist group al-Shabab was indicted Tuesday in federal court on a charge of conspiring to provide material support to the group, which is based in Somalia, federal prosecutors said.

Liban Haji Mohamed, 34, is a Somali-born naturalized American citizen who drove a cab in Northern Virginia. He first came to the FBI’s attention in 2010 with the arrest of Zachary Adam Chesser, then a 20-year-old Virginian who became enthralled with extremist Islamist views and ultimately was convicted of terrorism-related charges associated with al-Shabab. The FBI has said Chesser and Mohamed were close associates.

Mohamed left the United States in July 2012, and the FBI subsequently placed him on its most-wanted terrorists list. In 2015, it was reported that Mohamed was in custody in Somalia, but the United States does not have an extradition treaty with that country. Authorities did not immediately comment Tuesday on whether Mohamed had been released from Somali custody.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria said Tuesday’s indictment accuses Mohamed of attempting to recruit an undercover agent to travel to Somalia to provide combat training to al-Shabab fighters. Mohamed is also accused of planning to use his own media skills to improve al-Shabab’s propaganda machine, which it has used to recruit Westerners, the prosecutors said.


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