Almost five years to the day a USAID officer and FSN were killed in Khartoum, the U.S. Government announced a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of two of their killers. The announcement says to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The embassy, however, has no arrest power, so presumably the arrest and capture can only be done with the cooperation of the host country. What we don’t want to see is for these criminals to be arrested in the Sudan (again), the USG paying off the $10 million bounty and for the killers to escape once more, as they have done once before from what purportedly was the country’s maximum security prison.
The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program is offering rewards for information on two individuals involved in the January 1, 2008 murders of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) diplomat John Granville and USAID employee Abdelrahman Abbas Rahama.
The Department has authorized rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the capture of Abdelbasit Alhaj Alhasan Haj Hamad and Mohamed Makawi Ibrahim Mohamed, two of five individuals convicted in Sudan for the murders.
Granville, a U.S. citizen, and Abbas, a Sudanese national, were leaving a New Year’s Eve celebration in Khartoum, Sudan, when gunmen opened fire on their car, killing both of them. Granville worked on democracy and governance programs for USAID. He was credited with being the driving force behind the distribution of over 200,000 solar-powered radios used to inform citizens in remote areas of Sudan of their rights and responsibilities under the historic 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and subsequent 2010 national elecions. Abbas was born in Juba, now the capital of South Sudan, and began his USAID career in 2004 as one of the original members of the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team for Darfur.
Five men were tried and convicted in 2009 by a Sudanese court for their involvement in the murders. Four of those men – including Abdelbasit and Makawi — were convicted of murder and sentenced to death but escaped from prison on June 10, 2010, before their sentences could be carried out. Of the four escapees, one was recaptured. A second was reportedly killed in Somalia in May 2011. Abdelbasit and Makawi remain at large and are believed to be in Somalia.
Makawi had ties to the Sudan-based terrorist organization al-Qaida in the Land of the Two Niles, which conspired to attack other U.S., Western, and Sudanese targets. He was the leader of the attack that killed Granville and Abbas and was identified as one of the gunmen. Makawi was born in 1984 in Sudan and speaks English and Arabic.
Abdelbasit was the second shooter in the attack. He was born in Sudan and has used birthdates in 1979 and 1983. He also speaks English and Arabic.
More information about these individuals is located on the Rewards for Justice web site at www.rewardsforjustice.net. We encourage anyone with information on these individuals to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, or the Rewards for Justice office via the website (www.rewardsforjustice.net), e-mail (RFJ@state.gov), or mail (Rewards for Justice, Washington, DC 20520-0303, USA). All information will be kept strictly confidential.
The Rewards for Justice program is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid more than $125 million to more than 80 persons who provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide.
Shortly before the fifth death anniversary of the USAID employees, the Sudan Tribune reported that a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda has published a video purportedly showing the escape of four men accused of killing John Granville and his Sudanese driver from a maximum security prison in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. The four managed to escape in June 2010 from Kober Federal prison under mysterious circumstances. The report says that the YouTube video produced by a group calling itself ’Al-Hijratain for Media production’ explained in extensive details how the escape was planned and executed. Apparently, a substantial portion of the 41-minute video was filmed from inside the prison in broad daylight raising questions about the level of security the prisoners were subject to. The warden of Kober prison, according to the Sudan Tribune was suspended from duty over the incident but was later reinstated after being cleared from negligence.
- US adds 2 Sudanese al Qaeda operatives to list of terrorists (longwarjournal.org)
- State Department adds 2 Sudanese to terror list (washingtontimes.com)
- The $10-Million Hunt for U.S. Diplomat Killers Is On (theatlanticwire.com)