US offers $45m bounty for info on 8 terrorist leaders

Updated: 2014-10-15 08:59


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WASHINGTON - The United States said on Tuesday it is offering rewards totaling up to $45 million for information on eight key leaders of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorist organization.

The US State Department said its Rewards for Justice Program is offering rewards of up to $10 million for information leading to the location of Nasir al-Wahishi, AQAP's top leader, and up to $5 million each for the information on seven of the group's leaders.

Al-Wahishi is responsible for approving AQAP targets, recruiting new members, allocating resources, and directing the group's operatives to conduct attacks, the State Department said in a statement.

AQAP had launched numerous high-profile terrorist attacks against the Yemeni government, and US and other foreign interests, including a May 2012 suicide bombing in Yemeni capital of Sanaa that killed more than 100 people, said the statement, adding that in 2013 more than 20 US embassies were temporarily closed in response to a threat associated with AQAP.

AQAP was formed in January 2009 by Yemeni and Saudi terrorists under the leadership of al-Wahishi, who had headed AQAP's predecessor group Al-Qaeda in Yemen. On Jan 19, 2010, the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton designated the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.