NBC and AP report that Sharif Mobley, pictured above, was detained by Yemeni authorities for terror activities and subsequently engaged in a shootout at a local hospital while trying to escape
Coming on the heels of the release of details of the arrest of Pennsylvania woman Colleen LaRose, or “Jihad Jane”, yesterday, NBC reports today that federal authorities have confirmed that another American jihadist, Sharif Mobley, was detained in Yemen recently and engaged in a shootout with Yemeni authorities guarding him while trying to escape from a local hospital:
BUENA BOROUGH–Federal sources have confirmed that a man from Buena is in custody in the Middle East, and they say he’s believed to be an Al-Qaeda militant who’s accused of going on a deadly rampage.
“We don’t know nothing, we’re trying to hear something,” said Charles Mobley. Those were the only words he would share on camera about his son, 26 year-old Sharif Mobley. Federal sources have confirmed the 2002 Buena Regional High School graduate is currently in custody in the Middle East, suspected of being an Al-Qaeda militant.
“I remember him from high school,” said Dawn Bass, “he was just outgoing, he wanted to be, like the center of attention. He was a nice kid.”
Which is why those who knew him are shocked to learn that reports from the Middle East say Mobley was recently arrested with several others in Yemen, for allegedly plotting attack for Al-Qaeda. But that’s not all, according to those reports, Mobley, who was apparently hospitalized in Yemen’s capital for an unknown reason, allegedly killed a police guard and seriously wounded another over the weekend, in a failed attempt to escape. “It’s shocking,” said Bass, “I wouldn’t expect anybody that I graduated with to do something like that.”
Mobley’s mother didn’t want to speak on camera, but told us that the accusations are completely false and that her son is not a terrorist. “I haven’t talked to him or seen him in a couple of years,” said Bass, “anything can happen, people change so quickly, and this world, it’s just a crazy place anymore. It’s really scary.”
Mobley’s mother who spoke to us inside her Buena home says the last time she spoke to her son, it was late January, and he was in Yemen. While she does confirm that they were recently visited by the FBI, she says her son is an excellent person who’s never been in trouble and is a good Muslim.
Officially, the FBI will not comment on the case, but sources say federal investigators have an interest in Mobley and are waiting for more information to come out of Yemen.
Yesterday's disclosure of the arrest of "Jihad Jane" (pictured above) was followed up today with confirmation from federal authorities that New Jersey man Sharif Mobley has been detained in Yemen
The AP, citing Yemeni authorities, provides details of Mobley’s initial arrest and subsequent escape attempt:
A member of the Yemeni intelligence service confirmed Thursday that the man, originally described in statements as foreign, was a Somali-American. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
He was originally arrested as part of an earlier sweep against al-Qaida, according to other security officials, and was in prison on charges of membership of the group. He complained of being ill and was admitted to the hospital, where was held under heavy guard while he was treated for around a week until his escape attempt, said a member of the security forces.
Officials say he snatched a gun from one security guard and shot him, then made his way down from his fifth-floor room to the ground floor. Witnesses say he then got into a shootout with hospital security guards, who pinned him down until a unit of the anti-terrorism police apprehended him.
Today’s confirmation of American Jihadist and Buena, New Jersey resident Sharif Mobley’s arrest and subsequent deadly escape attempt continues a troubling trend of American citizens becoming involved in Jihadist activities both here in the United States and abroad over the past year or so.
UPDATE: the NY Daily News adds an interesting detail to Mobley’s story – apparently Mobley was paid by the campaign of former Governor Jon Corzine (D-NJ) in 2005 to assist Corzine in his turnout drive:
Campaign finance records show Mobley received $75 as an election day worker for Gov. Jon Corzine’s campaign in 2005.