Saturday, December 31, 2011


The U.S. Justice Department just put a $10 million bounty on the head of al Qaeda financier Yasin al Suri, making him the most wanted terrorists on the Justice Department's "Rewards for Justice" program. A $25 million reward is offered for Al Qeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Any information that helps authorities find Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, better known as Yasin al Suri, is being advertised by U.S. authorities.

This Iran-based senior financier of Al Qaeda has been operating under an agreement between Al Qaeda and the Iranian government since 2005. Yasin al Suri moves money and recruits through Iran and on to Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is a fundraiser for the terrorist network and has collected money from donors throughout the Persian Gulf region, according to the U.S. State Department. He has also arranged for the release of Al Qaeda personnel from Iranian prisons. Upon release, the Iranian government transfers them to the custody of al-Suri, who then coordinates their travel to Pakistan.

The "Rewards for Justice" program is a valuable tool in fighting global terrorism. It was created before 9-11, in 1984, under Public Law 98-533. It is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.The program continues to offer millions of dollars for information leading to the capture of some of America's most wanted terrorists. Currently, the program's top wanted terrorist is Al Qeada leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who's capture comes with the potential for a $25 million reward. Suri is one of three men in the $10 million reward category, the others being Taliban leader Mullah Omar and Abu Dua, leader of Al Qeada in Iraq.

The program authorizes the Secretary of State to distribute "rewards for information that leads to the arrest or conviction of anyone who plans, commits, or attempts international terrorist acts against U.S. persons or property, that prevents such acts from occurring in the first place, that leads to the location of a key terrorist leader, or that disrupts terrorism financing".

The Secretary of State is authorized to pay a reward greater than $25 million if it is determined that a greater amount is necessary to combat terrorism or to defend the United States against terrorist acts.

Thus far, the "Rewards for Justice" program  has paid more than $100 million to over 60 people who provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide. The program played a significant role in the arrest of international terrorist Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

While the law governing the "Rewards for Justice" program is aimed at terrorism directed against Americans, the United States shares information with other nations whose citizens are at risk. Every government and every citizen has a stake in bringing terrorists to justice and in preventing acts of terrorism.

The practice of placing bounties on terrorists is practiced by Moscow as well. The Russian authorities placed a $10 million bounty on Chechen warlords and has declared they will hit such terrorists anywhere, anytime.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes about the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). A portion of this site's ad revenues are donated to the AFIO. The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any  organization he is a member of. We're always looking for different perspectives regarding the Intelligence Community- got a thought or comment? Contact us on the secure Bpath Mail Form.

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