Jun 13, 2011
The Department of Home Affairs is investigating reports that a suspected al-Qaeda leader who was shot dead for refusing to stop at a roadblock in Somalia last week was carrying a South African passport.
Fazul Abdullah, who was on the US's most wanted terrorists' list, was killed by Somali security forces.
Aliases:Abdallah Fazul, Abdalla Fazul, Abdallah Mohammed Fazul, Fazul Abdilahi Mohammed, Fazul Adballah, Fazul Abdalla, Fazul Mohammed, Haroon, Harun, Haroon Fazul, Harun Fazul, Fadil Abdallah Muhamad, Fadhil Haroun, Abu Seif Al Sudani, Abu Aisha, Abu Luqman, Fadel Abdallah Mohammed Ali, Fouad Mohammed
Scars and Marks:
|Mohammed likes to wear baseball caps and tends to dress casually. He is very good with computers.|
CAUTIONFazul Abdullah Mohammed was indicted in the Southern District of New York, for his alleged involvement in the bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, on August 7, 1998.
REWARDThe Rewards For Justice Program, United States Department of State, is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Fazul Abdullah Mohammed.
SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS
If you have any information concerning this person, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.
Field Office: New York
Home Affairs said yesterday it had launched an investigation into claims.
Spokesman, Manusha Pillai, said in a statement that the department is in "liaison with the relevant role-players" to investigate the reports.
"Should the results of our investigation into the matter prove to be true, those implicated will be brought to book and will have to face disciplinary measures," she said.
Abdullah, who is believed have masterminded the 1998 truck bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was shot when he and another man drove a pick-up truck loaded with medicines, cellphones and laptops to a meeting with members of Al Shabaab, a Somali terrorist organisation affiliated to al-Qaeda.
After reports that Abdullah was found with a fake South African passport and other documentation, there were calls for the South African Department of Home Affairs to probe the document.
Annette Lovemore, the DA's spokesman on home affairs, said it was a concern that passport and identity document fraud may be facilitating international terrorist activities.
"This is not the first time that a terror suspect has been found to be in possession of a South African passport," she said.
She said that, in 2004, a Tunisian al-Qaeda suspect, Ihsan Garnaoui told German investigators that he had a number of South African passports.
Lovemore also said Haroon Rashid Aswat, another suspected ringleader of the 2005 London bus bombings, lived in South Africa and travelled to the UK on a South African passport.
"In 2006, Mohammed Gulzar entered Britain with a fake South African passport under the name Altaf Ravat, allegedly with the intent of blowing up transatlantic airliners in mid-flight," she said.
The bodies of Abdullah and the other man, meanwhile, were reportedly collected by the Somali intelligence service and handed over to US officials for identification before burial.
Abdullah, 38, was reportedly on the FBI's most wanted list along with 31 others, including Osama Bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, with a $5-million bounty on his head.
In his prominent bombings of the US embassies in Tanzania and Nairobi, 224 people were killed. The 1998 attack, however, would, three years later, be overshadowed by al-Qaeda's September 2001 attacks, which remain the worst terrorist attacks on the US to date.
After the 1998 bombings, Abdullah was reportedly put in charge of al-Qaeda operations for East Africa in 2002.