The United States is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information on Ahmed Diriye, also known as Ahmed Umar and Abu Ubaidah. Abu Ubaidah serves as the leader of al-Shabaab—a position he has occupied since the death of former al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane. Abu Ubaidah was part of Godane’s inner circle at the time of Godane’s death.
Prior to replacing Godane, Abu Ubaidah served in several positions within al-Shabaab, including as Godane’s assistant, the deputy governor of the Lower Juba region of Somalia in 2008, and al-Shabaab’s governor of the Bay and Bakool regions of Somalia in 2009. By 2013, he was a senior adviser to Godane, and served in al-Shabaab’s “Interior Department,” where he oversaw the group’s domestic activity. He shares Godane’s vision for Al-Shabaab’s terrorist attacks in Somalia as an element of al-Qa’ida’s greater global aspirations.
On April 21, 2015, the U.S. Department of State designated Abu Ubaidah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended. As a result of this designation, among other consequences, all property and interests in property of Abu Ubaidah that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Abu Ubaidah. In addition, it is a crime to knowingly provide, or attempt or conspire to provide, material support or resources to al-Shabaab, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.