The #murder of a U.S. diplomat outside the embassy in Niger occurred nearly 13 years ago, but federal investigators have never given up their hunt for the killer.
On Wednesday, Sept. 18th, prosecutors in Brooklyn unsealed an indictment of a Malian national accused of shooting and killing William Bultemeier, a Defense Department official attached to the embassy, as well as wounding a military aide in Niamey, Niger.
In unsealing an indictment charging 42-year-old Alhassane Ould Mohamed with murder and attempted murder, the government also posted a $20,000 reward for information leading to his capture.
The indictment alleges that Mohamed, also known as "Cheibani," and an accomplice accosted a group of embassy employees as they left a restaurant in after midnight on Dec. 23, 2000. Toting a pistol and an AK-47 assault rifle, Mohamed approached Bultemeier as he climbed into a white sport-utility vehicle, which bore diplomatic license plates, and demanded that he turn over the keys, it said. Mohamed then allegedly shot Bultemeier.
Staff Sgt. Christopher McNeely, the embassy's Marine Detachment Commander, ran to his aid, but Mohamed fired his AK-47, hitting both Americans. Grabbing the car keys from Bultemeier's pockets, the two assailants sped away in the embassy car, the indictment said.
Bultemeier died, but McNeely survived and later retired from the Marine Corp as a master sergeant.
The indictment charges charges Mohamed with killing and wounding two internationally protected persons.
"The sacrifice of Mr. Bultemeier and the courage of Staff Sergeant McNeely in service to their country will not be forgotten," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said. "The United States will work ceaselessly to bring those who harm our diplomats and military personnel to justice."
George Venizelos, chief of the FBI's New York field office, said that an attack on U.S. government personnel, whether here or abroad, "is an attack on the United States" and warned Mohamed that he "should always be looking over his shoulders; it is only a matter of time before he is apprehended."