The United States is offering bounties of up to $3 million each for three members of Somalia's al-Shabab militant group.
The State Department said Friday that the three men hold senior roles in al-Shabab, a group that has ties to al-Qaida and has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist acts, including last year's deadly attack on a Kenyan shopping mall.
The men are Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, who the State Department says coordinates al-Shabab's recruitment in Kenya, along with his deputy Jafar, who goes by one name. It says Yasin Kilwe is the group's emir for Somalia's Puntland region.
A former coordinator of the U.N. Monitoring Group for Somalia and Eritrea, Matt Bryden, told VOA that while the suspected militants are not necessarily a threat to the U.S. homeland, they can be considered a threat to U.S. interests in the region.
"They do pose a threat to United States interests in this part of the world because the United States has been for a number of years supporting regional administrations in Somalia. The United States has been providing support to Somaliand, which considers itself an independent state, and to Puntland, both of which have maintained a degree of peace and security."