A local man is wanted by the FBI for conspiracy to provide material support or resource to al Qaeda in an effort to kill American soldiers.
The FBI said Wednesday Ahmad Abousamra, formally of Mansfield, traveled to Pakistan and Yemen to seek military training so he could kill American soldiers. There is a $50,000 reward for Abousamra's arrest.
Abousamra lived at 33 Church St. in Mansfield during his time in town.
Abousamra was an honors student at the Xaverian Brothers in Westwood. He moved to 79 Rocky Knoll Dr. in Stoughton in his later teen years went to Stoughton High School.
According to a background check, his last known U.S. address was 193 Salem St. in Lawrence.
Here's the press release from the FBI:
The FBI today announced a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of Ahmad Abousamra, a U.S. citizen from Massachusetts charged with traveling to Pakistan and Yemen to seek military training so he could kill American soldiers.
“Knowing that the public is the FBI’s best ally in finding fugitives, today we’re requesting your assistance to locate Abousamra,” said Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of our Boston office.
Abousamra is charged with conspiracy to provide material support or resources to al Qaeda. He was indicted in 2009 for taking multiple trips to Pakistan and Yemen in 2002 and 2004 to seek jihad training. He also traveled to Iraq with the hope of joining forces fighting against Americans overseas. Abousamra left the U.S. in 2006 and may be living in living in Aleppo, Syria with his wife, at least one daughter, and extended family.
“Both men were self-radicalized and used the Internet to educate themselves,” said Special Agent Heidi Williams, a member of our Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Boston who has been working the case since 2006. “They came to it independently, but once they found each other, they encouraged each other’s beliefs,” Williams said, adding that both Abousamra and Mehanna were inspired by the 9/11 terror attacks. “They celebrated it,” she said.
Abousamra is of Syrian descent and has dual U.S. and Syrian citizenship. He is 31 years old, 5’11” tall, and at the time of his disappearance weighed about 170 pounds. He has dark brown hair and brown eyes. He is fluent in English and Arabic, has a college degree related to computer technology, and was previously employed at a telecommunications company. Abousamra last lived in the U.S. in a prosperous Boston suburb and has family members in the Detroit, Michigan area.
Today’s announcement is part of a publicity campaign employing traditional and social media to seek the public’s assistance. We are using social media to reach an overseas audience—information about Abousamra such as photos and audio clips can be found on the website and our Facebook, You Tube, and Twitter pages.
“Combining the reach and power of multiple media platforms is a powerful way to inform the public about our search,” DesLauriers said. “We believe publicizing Abousamra’s photo and characteristics will lead to a tip about his whereabouts and, ultimately, to his arrest.”
Thomas Daly, a sergeant with the Lowell Police Department in Massachusetts and a task force officer on the Boston JTTF since 2002, said catching Abousamra “will close the chapter on this story. We had two people who were planning to harm U.S. soldiers overseas,” Daly said, referring to Abousamra and Mehanna. “These two were actively radicalizing others. We can only assume Abousamra is still on the same path and remains a threat to our soldiers overseas.”
If you have any information regarding Ahmad Abousamra, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. You can also submit a tip electronically on our website.
For more information regarding the FBI's search for Abousamra, visit the FBI website.
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 U.S. Embassy or Consulate.