U.S. offers rewards for terrorist info

Sept. 2, 2010 at 9:09 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department posted multimillion-dollar rewards for information to help arrest two suspected leaders of a designated terrorist organization.

The two are Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, and Wali Ur Rehman, his second-in-command, the State Department said Wednesday in a release.

The organization is based in the tribal areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The department's Rewards for Justice Program is offering rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the arrest of Mehsud or Rehman.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is listed as a foreign terrorist organization under the Immigration and Nationality Act and it has a specially designated global terrorist rating in a presidential executive order. Mehsud and Rehman are designated as specially designated global terrorists under the executive order.

The designations help block the flow of finances to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and allows the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute entities knowingly providing material support to the organization and its senior leaders, the State Department said.

Since becoming leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in 2009, Mehsud organized and directed several attacks against U.S. personnel and interests inside and outside Pakistan, the department said. He was charged in U.S. federal court with conspiracy to murder a U.S. national while outside of the United States and with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against a U.S. national while outside of the United States. The charges stem from an investigation into a December 2009 suicide bombing at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan that killed seven U.S. citizens.

Rehman, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan's chief military strategist, commands organization members in Pakistan's South Waziristan region and reportedly led several attacks against U.S., NATO, and Pakistani forces along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The State Department said Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is tied to other terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida.

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