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FBI Offers $50,000 for Info on US Citizen Linked to Al-Qaeda

FBI is offering $50,000 reward for information on US citizen with ties to Al-Qaeda who has been plotting to kill American soldiers overseas.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 10/4/2012, 2:03 PM

An FBI poster asking for the public's help in finding Ahmad Abousamra,
An FBI poster asking for the public's help in finding Ahmad Abousamra,
Reuters

The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of an American citizen of Syrian descent who allegedly has ties to Al-Qaeda and has been plotting to kill U.S. military personnel overseas.

Ahmad Abousamra, 31, was indicted in 2009, after taking multiple trips to Pakistan and Yemen, where he attempted to obtain military training for the purpose of killing America soldiers overseas, the FBI said.

"Conspiring to use force or violence to achieve a political or social goal violates our cherished ideal of peaceful dissent," said FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers.

"Our goal is to find and arrest Abousamra so he can be tried by a jury of his peers," DesLauriers said in a statement.

Abousamra, who was born in France, has dual citizenship in the United States and Syria.

The FBI said he left the United States in 2006, and may be living in Aleppo, Syria with his wife and extended family.

In 2011 Abousamra's co-conspirator, Tarek Mehanna, was convicted by a federal jury on four terrorism charges and three charges related to providing false information to the government. He was sentenced earlier this year to 17 years in prison.

The FBI has been seeking Abousamra since he was indicted, but has stepped up its campaign, which now includes the monetary reward as well as the use of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

"Knowing that the public is the FBI's best ally in finding fugitives, we're requesting their assistance to locate Ahmad Abousamra," DesLauriers said.

“Combining the reach and power of multiple media platforms is a powerful way to inform the public about our search,” DesLauriers added. “We believe publicizing Abousamra’s photo and characteristics will lead to a tip about his whereabouts and, ultimately, to his arrest.”