Al-Qaida offers gold to kill U.S. diplomat

Dec. 31, 2012 at 6:55 AM

SANAA, Yemen, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida in Yemen says it will give a large amount of gold to anyone who kills U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein and cash to the killers of American soldiers.

An audiotape produced by al-Qaida's Malahem Foundation and posted on its website offered 3 kilograms of gold (6.6 pounds -- about $160,000) to kill Feierstein and $23,000 to kill a U.S. soldier, the British network Sky News reported.

A statement released by the group said the bounties, to be valid for six months, are to "inspire and encourage our Muslim nation for jihad [holy war]."

The offer came hours after three al-Qaida operatives were killed in al-Bayda province in an apparent drone strike, Sky News said.

Feierstein has played a prominent role in U.S. support for Yemeni President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who took office in February 2012, The Washington Times reported. The ambassador has publicly expressed America's support for Yemen. He has called for the defeat of al-Qaida and other radical organizations to prevent them from turning Yemen into a safe haven for their operations, the newspaper said.

Gold sold in the New York spot market Friday for $1,654.60 per troy ounce. There are 14.58 troy ounces to a pound.

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