UK & World News
US $12m Bounty For 'Al Qaeda Financiers'
The United States has offered a $12m reward for information on the location of two Iran-based alleged financiers of the al Qaeda terror network.
Muhsin al Fadhli and Adel Radi Saqr al Wahabi al Harbi are key to the movement of militants and money to Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the US.
"Al Qaeda elements in Iran, led by Fadhli, are working to move fighters and money through Turkey to support al Qaeda-affiliated elements in Syria," the State Department said in a statement.
"Fadhli also is leveraging his extensive network of Kuwaiti jihadist donors to send money to Syria via Turkey."
Intelligence sources told Sky News in February that Fadhli had effectively become the leader of al Qaeda in Iran after a $10m bounty offered for information about the Syrian Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, better known as Yasin al Suri, prompted local authorities to take him into protective custody.
The 31-year-old, who is on Saudi Arabia's most wanted list after a series of al Qaeda attacks in the Gulf kingdom, was allegedly among the few leaders of the group who were given advance notice of the 9/11 attacks.
He is accused of raising money to fund the October 2002 attack on the French ship MV Limburg, off the coast of Yemen, in which one person was killed and four crew members injured.
Kuwait-born Fadhli is also wanted in his home country after being convicted in his absence and sentenced to five years on charges of providing funding and training to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
Harbi, 25, has been charged in Saudi Arabia with travelling to Afghanistan to join al Qaeda and providing internet support to the group.
According to a secret intelligence memo seen by Sky News in February, Harbi "is considered an extremely dangerous field operative; he has fought in the Afghanistan and Pakistan theatres".
The State Department has said it will offer up to $7m for information on Fadhli and $5m for information on al Harbi.
The Treasury Department also froze all assets held by Harbi in the US and banned Americans from doing business with him. Similar measures had already been taken against Fadhli.
David Cohen, under-secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said: "Today's action, which builds on our action from July 2011, further exposes al Qaeda's critically important Iran-based funding and facilitation network.
"We will continue targeting this crucial source of al Qaeda's funding and support, as well as highlight Iran's ongoing complicity in this network's operation."
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