The FBI today asked for the public’s help in locating terrorism suspect Ahmad Abousamra, a former Mansfield resident who allegedly traveled to Pakistan and Yemen to be trained in how to kill American servicemen overseas.
Abousamra was indicted in 2009 along with Tarek Mehanna, a Sudbury man who was sentenced this year to 17½ years in federal prison following his conviction on charges of providing material support to Al Qaeda, including translating terrorist documents into English.
The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to Abousamra’s capture.
According to the FBI and the indictment filed in US District Court in Boston, Abousamra made multiple trips to Pakistan and Yemen seeking training at terrorist camps during the last decade. The FBI said he also journeyed to Iraq, allegedly with the hope of participating in attacks on the American military.
In 2010, Abousamra and Mehanna were charged in a superseding indictment with an additional single count of conspiring to provide material support to Al Qaeda.
Abousamra, 31, is of Syrian descent and has dual citizenship in the United States and Syria, the FBI said. A native of France, he is now believed to be living in Aleppo, Syria, with his wife, at least one child, and other relatives, authorities said.
Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, said in a statement that the publicity campaign focusing on Abousamra was launched in hopes of finally ending his years on the run. Abousamra fled the United States in 2006 after being questioned by federal investigators about his overseas trips.
“Conspiring to use force or violence to achieve a political or social goal violates our cherished ideal of peaceful dissent. Our goal is to find and arrest Abousamra so he can be tried by a jury of his peers,” DesLauriers said in a statement. “We believe publicizing Abousamra’s photo and characteristics will lead to a tip about his whereabouts and, ultimately, to his arrest.”
Abousamra is fluent in both English and Arabic and has a college degree in computer technology, the FBI said. His known aliases include Ahmad Abou-Samra, Ahmad Abou, Ahmad Abou Samira, Ahmad Samra, Ahmad Abu Samra, and Ahmad Abou Samra.
The FBI is also releasing a video, voice clip and wanted posters in English, French And Arabic to help in the search for Abousamra.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL- FBI or 617-742-5533, via the Internet at https://tips.fbi.gov or by calling their local FBI office, or the nearest US embassy or consulate.John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.