U.S. rewards Filipinos for terrorist tip

May 30, 2006 at 3:03 PM
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MANILA, Philippines, May 30 (UPI) -- The United States is awarding $500,000 to two informants in the Philippines whose information led to the capture of a terror suspect connected to al-Qaida.

The identities of the two Filipinos have not been disclosed, but the Manila Times said Tuesday they would receive the reward from U.S. embassy officials on Wednesday at a special ceremony.

Information from the two led to the arrest last October of Hilarion del Rosario Santos III, aka Ahmad Santos, who led the Rajah Solaiman Movement, during a police raid on an RSM hideaway.

Santos was arrested with four others in the southern city of Zamboanga

RSM members are suspected of harboring and helping train some members of al-Qaida, including some of those involved in the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States.

The newspaper quoted unidentified Philippine military officials as saying Santos, a convert to Islam, confessed to the training during interrogation after his capture.

The al-Qaida operatives reportedly received initial training in Angeles, Pampanga, before leaving for the United States for flight training to hijack the planes used in the Sept. 11 attacks. Angeles, about 40 miles from Manila, was once home to Clark Air Force Base, the largest U.S. military facility overseas before it was turned over to the Philippine government in 1992.

RSM is also linked to bombings in the Philippines in 2004 and 2005.

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