FBI Supervisory Special Agent Erin Westfall said it's believed Mostafa is in southern Somalia, where the terrorist group's stronghold is located, but that the public's assistance is needed to locate his exact whereabouts. "Al-Shabab's reign of terror threatens USA national security, our worldwide allies, and innocent civilians". A 2010 suicide bombing at a bar in Uganda during a World Cup soccer match killed a USA citizen working for a San Diego nonprofit.
Mostafa is charged with criminal activities dating from 2008 to 2017, though authorities told reporters Monday that he's believed to still be working in a central role planning Shabab's operations against the government of Somalia.
Mostafa grew up in the San Diego area and attended the University of California, San Diego.
The group's goal is to institute "a rigid interpretation of Sharia law" in Somalia by destabilizing the country through attacks against Ethiopian, Somali and other African Union forces, according to the US attorney's office.
A federal arrest warrant was issued for Mostafa on October 9, 2009, after the original indictment. During a Monday news conference, the Federal Bureau of Investigation called Mostafa the "highest ranking American fighting overseas".
He eventually joined al-Shabaab, which seeks to establish a society based on "its rigid interpretation" of Sharia law and has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda, federal prosecutors said. Very kind, very peaceful, very patient. 'When people talked that Muslims are bad and Muslims are scary, I'd say I've got a Muslim mechanic and he's so sweet. To hear he's in a terrorist group, let alone the one he's in, is freaky'. Calls to the family home went unanswered when contacted by DailyMail.com.
In 2005 Mostafa ravelled to Yemen and Somalia, where he fought against Ethiopian forces.
In 2010, al-Shabaab carried out a suicide bombing at a bar in Uganda during a World Cup soccer match, killing 76 people including a United States citizen who had been working in the region for a San Diego-based non-profit. The group has claimed responsibility for multiple deadly attacks in recent years, mostly in East Africa.