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U.S. targets al-Qaida operatives in Iran

Oct. 19, 2012 at 11:10 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department announced it authorized rewards of up to $12 million for information about two al-Qaida operatives believed to be in Iran.

The department said it identified Muhsin al-Fadli and his deputy, Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi, as Iranian-based facilitators and financiers for al-Qaida. A collective reward of up to $12 million was offered for information about the men.

"Both men are wanted by Saudi authorities in connection with their terrorist activities, and al-Fadhli is wanted by authorities in Kuwait on terrorism-related charges," the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

The department added that Fadhli had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Harbi, for his part, is alleged to have helped al-Qaida militants travel through Iran from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Both men were sanctioned by the Treasury Department for their role as al-Qaida operators in Iran. The department added that it believed regional al-Qaida networks tied to both men were fighting in the Syrian civil war.

David Cohen, U.S. undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the action exposes al-Qaida's foundation in Iran.

"We will continue targeting this crucial source of al-Qaida's funding and support, as well as highlight Iran's ongoing complicity in this network's operation," he said in a statement.

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