U.S. offers $10M reward for information on al-Nusra leader

By Allen Cone  |  May 10, 2017 at 1:10 PM
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May 10 (UPI) -- The United States is offering a $10 million reward for information on the leader of a Syrian terror group the State Department says is associated with al-Qaida.

The State Department's Rewards for Justice program announced Wednesday it is "offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of Muhammad al-Jawlani."

The State Department added al-Jawlani to the global terrorist sanctions list in May 2013, which freezes his property and interests subject to U.S. jurisdiction, and imposes a travel ban and arms embargo on him. He was born between 1975 and 1979, according to a listings on the Rewards for Justice website.

Al-Jawlani has been part of different terrorist groups, which have undergone name changes.

In April 2013, al-Jawlani pledged allegiance to al-Qaida, and its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, after he had a public falling out with the Islamic State.

The group, al-Nusra, changed its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and dropped its affiliation with al-Qaida in July 2016.

In January 2017, the group again underwent a name change after it merged with several other hardline opposition groups to form Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

The State Department said his group remains al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria.

Jawlani is not the leader of HTS, but remains the leader of the group known as al-Nusra, according to the State Department.

Under al-Jawlani's leadership, the al-Nusra Front has been responsible for several terrorist attacks throughout Syria, often targeting civilians, according to the Rewards for Justice website. In April 2015, the group allegedly kidnapped and later released approximately 300 Kurdish civilians at a checkpoint in Syria. In June 2015, ANF claimed responsibility for the massacre of 20 residents in the Druze village Qalb Lawzeh in Idlib province, Syria.

Since the inception of Rewards for Justice in 1984, "the program has paid in excess of $125 million to more than 80 people who provided actionable information that helped bring terrorists to justice or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide," according to a State Department release.

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