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Former San Diego Man May Be Among Top Leaders In Terror Group Al Shabab

The former UCSD economics student may be one of several Americans who have crucial roles in Al Shabab.

A former San Diego man who was indicted by a federal grand jury here for aiding the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabab may now be one of its top leaders.

U.S. officials say the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab in Somalia has recruited more than 40 Americans.

According to NBC News, one of the two members of Al-Shabab's hierarchy and part of its inner circle includes Jehad Mostafa. The outlet quoted one counter-terrorism official referring to Mostafa as a "pretty bad dude" who has worked with Al Shabab for a sufficient amount of time to be a key player.

Federal prosecutors in San Diego declined comment. Mostafa grew up in San Diego and attended the Al Ribat Mosque in La Mesa. That's the same mosque that was once led by Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al Awlaki who was assassinated in Yemen by the U.S. government in a drone strike in September.

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