For the first time, the United States is offering Rewards for Justice to anyone who provides information that leads to the capture of six key members of the al Qaeda-backed Somali militant group al-Shabab. Bounties totaling $33 million are being offered by the State Department, including $7 million for al-Shabab's founder, Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed, according to reports.

Al Shabab was put on the State Department's Foreign Terrorist Organization list in 2008. The group controls large swaths of land in the lawless central and southern states, but a military push by the Somali government and African Union forces near Mogadishu, as well as by Kenyan and Ethiopian forces from the west, have disrupted the group's organization and resulted in the re-taking of important territory over the past few months.