U.S. Puts $5M Bounty on Terror Suspect
The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 27, 2007; 11:04 AM
WASHINGTON – The United States on Tuesday offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of a U.S.-trained Malaysian engineer accused of involvement in a series of deadly bombings in the Philippines.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice approved the bounty for Zulkifli bin Hir, who goes by the alias “Marwan” and is believed to be a senior leader in several southeast Asian terrorist groups tied to al-Qaida, the State Department said in a statement.
Bin Hir, 40, is thought to run the Kumpulun Mujahidin Malaysia organization and be a member of the central command of Jemaah Islamiyah, the al-Qaida affiliate blamed for numerous attacks, including the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings in Indonesia, the statement said.
He is also thought to have conducted explosives training for the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf Group, a militant group based in the Philippines where Bin Hir is believed to have lived since August 2003, the department said.
His younger brother is now jailed in Indonesia for involvement in a 2001 bombing of a Jakarta mall, said the statement.
Bin Hir has long been sought by Philippines authorities and last August, two Filipino police officers were killed in a clash while trying to approach his suspected hideout about 560 miles southeast of Manila.
Rice authorized the reward under the “Rewards for Justice” program, which is run by the State Department and seeks information leading to the capture of wanted terrorists.
Since its creation in 1984, the program has paid more than $62 million to more than 40 people who have helped capture terror suspects, including informants in the Philippines that have received at least $1.6 million in reward money.
On the Net:
Rewards for Justice program - http://www.rewardsforjustice.net