US Doubles Reward To $10 Million For Information On Al-Qaeda Leader

| October 19 , 2018 , 14:01 IST

The US Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program has doubled the reward for information leading to the identification, location, arrest and/or conviction of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Qasim al-Rimi. From the earlier $5 million, the reward amount has been increased to $10 million, media reported on Friday.

Apart from al-Rimi, the US Department is also offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the identification or location of senior regional leader of the AQAP Khalid Saeed al-Batarfi.

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Qasim al-Rimi, who was named as the leader of AQAP in 2015 and called for renewed attacks against the US was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the US Department of State in May 2010. He had already been listed as a most wanted terror suspect by Saudi Arabia in February 2009. In May 2010, al-Rimi was added to the United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee's Consolidated List of individuals associated with Al Qaeda/ISIL.

AQAP leader al-Rimi has been charged in multiple terror incidents, including a conviction in Yemen for plotting to assassinate the US Ambassador to Yemen in 2005. He was interred into a Yemeni prison from where he escaped in 2006, after which he was linked to the September 2008 attack on the US Embassy in Yemen's capital Sana'a which left 20 dead.

Al-Rimi was also linked to the December 2009 attempted suicide bombing by Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab aboard a US-bound airliner, and praised Omar Mateen who killed 49 people in US's Florida in June 2016.

In a video that was released in May 2017, al-Rimi instigated 'supporters' living in Western countries to conduct 'easy and simple' attacks. After a US attack killed a senior leader of the AQAP, he issued a statement warning that the al-Qaeda would destroy the US economy and attack other US interests.