RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking to question an alleged Egyptian Al Qaeda operative believed to be living in Brazil, and the South American country has pledged to cooperate with the United States in any way it can.
The FBI added Mohamed Ahmed Elsayed Ahmed Ibrahim to its Most Wanted list on Monday, saying he was being sought “for questioning in connection with his alleged role as an Al Qaeda operative and facilitator who has allegedly been involved in plotting attacks against the United States and its interests.”
The FBI said he had been “providing material support” since about 2013 for Al Qaeda, the group behind the Sept. 11 attacks in New York in 2001. It said he was born in Egypt in 1977 and is currently living in Brazil.
In a joint statement on Monday, Brazil's ministries of justice and foreign affairs said the Egyptian had entered Brazil in 2018 and was a legal resident in the country.
“The Brazilian government is open to cooperating with U.S. authorities on its request, in accordance with our law, and is following the case,” the statement said.
Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro is working to forge closer ties with U.S. President Donald Trump, an ideological ally who has proposed a bilateral trade pact between the two largest economies in the Americas.
Security cooperation between the two countries has long been strong, with U.S. and Brazilian officials working closely together on drug and weapons smuggling cases. The United States has long been concerned by suspected militants from organizations such as Hezbollah who live and operate in Brazil.
(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Bernadette Baum)