Al-Qaida bounty program unsuccessful

WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- A $5 million reward offered by the U.S. government for the capture of a top international terrorist suspect has been unsuccessful, authorities said.

Federal officials indicted Jaber Elbaneh, 41, in 2003, offered a $5 million award for his arrest, and posted his picture around the world, but have had little success in pinpointing his whereabouts, The Washington Post reported Saturday.


Elbaneh and 23 other suspected al-Qaida members are listed in the U.S. Rewards for Justice program, which posts large rewards for clues ending in the arrests of wanted criminals.

Some U.S. officials argue the bounty plan is simply not working.

"It's certainly been ineffective. It hasn't produced results, and it hasn't particularly produced leads," said Robert L. Grenier, former CIA station chief in Pakistan.

The Post said the lack of success in the Rewards for Justice program is linked to factors such as poor publicity, doubt surrounding whether the United States would pay out rewards and the theory that people's loyalty can be swayed when money is at stake.

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