Reward Offered for Info on Attackers of Manda Bay Airfield, Kenya

Department of State

The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, which is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of Maalim Ayman or any individual who committed, attempted, or conspired to commit, or aided or abetted in the commission of the January 5, 2020 terrorist attack on U.S. and Kenyan personnel at the Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya.

Maalim Ayman is the leader of Jaysh Ayman, an al-Shabaab unit conducting terrorist attacks and operations in Kenya and Somalia. Ayman was responsible for preparing the January 2020 attack. In November 2020, the Department of State designated Ayman as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended.

In the pre-dawn attack, al-Shabaab terrorists killed a U.S. soldier and two U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contractors and wounded two other U.S. service members and a third DoD contractor. In a video subsequently released by al-Shabaab, a spokesperson for the group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Manda Bay Airfield is part of a Kenyan Defence Forces military base utilized by U.S. armed forces to provide training and counterterrorism support to East African partners, respond to crises, and protect U.S. interests in the region.

Based in East Africa, al-Shabaab is one of al-Qaida’s most dangerous affiliates and is responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in Kenya, Somalia, and neighboring countries that have killed thousands of people, including U.S. citizens. The terrorist group continues to plot, plan, and conspire to commit terrorist acts against the United States, U.S. interests, and foreign partners.

The Department of State designated al-Shabaab as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in March 2008. In April 2010, al-Shabaab was designated by the UN Security Council’s Somalia Sanctions Committee pursuant to paragraph 8 of resolution 1844 (2008). In February 2021, Maalim Ayman was also designated by the UN Security Council’s Somalia Sanctions Committee pursuant to paragraph 8(a) of resolution 1844 (2008).

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