The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice Programme is offering rewards for information on four terrorists operating in western and northern Africa.
Secretary of State John Kerry has authorized rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the location of Khalid al-Barnawi, Hamad el Khairy, and Ahmed el Tilemsi, as well as a reward of up to $3 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Abu-Yusuf al-Muhajir.
Barnawi is reportedly a leader of the Nigeria-based terrorist group known as Ansaru, and a former senior member of the Boko Haram terrorist organization.
Ansaru, which is said to have originated as a faction of Boko Haram and has close ties to al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, has sought to target westerners, including U.S. citizens.
Barnawi reportedly helped plan the May 2011 kidnapping by Ansaru of a Briton and an Italian engineer, who were both killed 10 months later.
The Department of State named Barnawi a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on June 21, 2012.
Khairy and Tilemsi are both founding members of the terrorist group Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, MUJWA, and former members of AQIM.
While a member of AQIM, Khairy planned terrorist operations against Mauritania and participated in planning the December 2008 abduction of UN envoy and Canadian Ambassador Robert Fowler in Niger.
Khairy has appeared in MUJWA videos threatening those who oppose the organization.
In January 2012, he stated that MUJWA’s goal was to “impose sharia law across the whole of West Africa.”
Tilemsi is the military leader of MUJWA. Previously, while a member of AQIM, Tilemsi played a role in the January 2011 kidnapping of two French nationals in Niger.
On December 7, 2012, the U.S. Department of State placed both Khairy and Tilemsi on the U.S. government’s list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
Abu-Yusuf al-Muhajir is an explosives expert. He is a former member of Tawhid w’al Jihad-Egypt (TWJ-Egypt), an extremist group active in the Sinai Peninsula from 2004 to 2006 and whose members re-established it in 2011.
Muhajir was involved in attack planning against a variety of targets in Egypt, including U.S. interests.
The American government said anyone with information on the above named terrorists should contact Rewards for Justice via the website or by e-mail (info@RewardsforJustice.net)
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The Rewards for Justice programme is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid in excess of $125 million to more than 80 people who provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism.