On the lam for nearly six years, an American fugitive suspected of “recruiting impressionable young men for terrorist groups including ISIS,” has surrendered to law enforcement officials in Somalia, the State Department announced Monday.
According to ABC News, Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, known online as “Miski,” surrendered to the government of Somalia on Nov. 6, writes the news outlet.
He’s been wanted by the FBI since he left his home in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2008 at the age of 17, allegedly for providing “material support” to the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group al-Shabaab in Somalia by convincing young American recruits to join, the report says. U.S. officials say Hassan then moved from al-Shabaab to become a recruiter for the Syria-based terror group ISIS.
He was “born in Somalia and is a legal resident of the U.S. but is not an American citizen,” according to ABC News:
Over the weekend ABC News reported that investigators were trying to determine if the couple who killed 14 people in San Bernardino last week had any online connection with Hassan in the months before he turned himself in.
Prior to the tragedy in San Bernardino, Hassan was linked to another deadly incident this year in Garland, Texas, where two men attempted to attack a Mohammad cartoon event, but were gunned down by police before they could kill anyone. In the days and weeks leading up to that attack, one of the gunmen had repeated social media contact with Hassan, who was urging his American followers to “do their part” like the three men who killed 12 people in Paris in January.
Since he was thought to have left the U.S. for Somalia, Hassan has popped up repeatedly online as a vocal proponent of jihad. Each time Twitter shuts down his account, he simply returned under a slightly different username and quickly reconnected with his supporters and potential recruits.
David Ibsen, executive director of the Counter Extremism Project, told ABC News after the Garland attack that Hassan’s influence is quite extensive. If true, it’s good that he surrendered. We hope he provides vital information to help stop the terror of ISIS.