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Fugitive on U.S. most-wanted terror list held by Somalia

| Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 12:01 a.m.

A Northern Virginia man who fled the United States more than two years ago and was recently placed on the FBI's “Most Wanted Terrorists” list is in the custody of the Somali government, American officials said.

Liban Haji Mohamed, 29, was detained when prosecutors unsealed a warrant for his arrest, and the FBI added him to the wanted list in late January. It is unclear how he was taken into custody or how soon he could be returned to the United States.

The former cab driver is charged with providing material support and resources to al-Shabab, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization allied with al-Qaida. He is suspected of having an operational role in al-Shabab and of trying to recruit people to join the group.

When FBI officials announced his inclusion on the most-wanted list, they said Mohamed was “an asset to his terrorist associates who might plot attacks on U.S. soil.” Officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, noted that he had detailed knowledge of potential targets in Washington.

The FBI had offered $50,000 for information leading to his arrest and conviction and began a significant online campaign to find him.

An attorney for Mohamed's family was not immediately available for comment. The attorney, Gadeir Abbas, has said that the family is skeptical of the charges, noting that Mohamed has relatives who were killed or captured by al-Shabab.

Officials said efforts were being made to bring Mohamed back to Virginia, though there were still significant logistical and diplomatic challenges.

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