A Somali-based Islamist group with ties to al-Qaida has mocked monetary rewards being offered by the U.S. government in exchange for information that will lead to the top leaders of the al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab.
Fuad Muhammad Kalaf of the Shabab al-Mujahideen Movement in Somalia was responsible for making the sarcastic comments in which the militant said that information regarding President Barack Obama was worth camels, while information regarding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be worth chickens.
"Whoever reveals the hideout of the idiot Obama will be rewarded with 10 camels, and whoever reveals the hideout of the old woman Hillary Clinton will be rewarded 10 chickens and 10 roosters," Khalaf said after Friday prayers, according to SITE Intelligence Group.
SITE Intelligence Group monitors militant organizations and released the news on Saturday, which followed a Thursday U.S. State Department announcement that an award of $5 million each was being offered for the whereabouts of Khalaf and three of his associates.
The State Department also offered a $7 million award for information regarding al-Shabab founder Ahmed aw-Mohamed. Al-Shabab has been considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government since 2008.
The comments came as the assistant secretary of state for African affairs Johnnie Carson visited Somalia's capital of Mogadishu over the weekend. Carson became the first top U.S. official to visit the country in two decades and when asked by reporters at a news conference about the statements Carson called them "absurd."
"The question is so absurd it does not deserve a response," the U.S. official said.
Carson was in Mogadishu to discuss progress made against the militant group, which controls much of Somalia's territory and blocked the deliverance of humanitarian aid to the country during last summer's devastating famine.