The Department of State announced Tuesday that its Rewards for Justice Program Tuesday is offering rewards for information on what it said are “four key leaders of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” also known as the Islamic State and Islamic State of Syria and Iraq.
TheSecretary of State has authorized rewards of up to $7 million for information on Abd Al Rahman Mustafa Al Qaduli; up to $5 million each for information on Abu Mohammed Al Adnani and Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili; and up to $3 million for information on Tariq Bin Al Tahar Bin Al Falih Al Awni Al Harzi.
In September, the jihadists were among 14 terrorists the UN Security Council Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee added to its sanctions list.
“Established in 2004 as Al Qaeda in Iraq and later known as the ‘Islamic State of Iraq,’” The State Department conceded ISIS “has recruited thousands of followers from across the globe to fight in Iraq and Syria, where ISIs members continue to commit gross, systematic human rights abuses, including mass executions, persecution of individuals and entire communities on the basis of their identity, killing and maiming of children, rape and numerous other atrocities.”
In April 2013, ISIS’ current leader, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, also known as Abu Du’a, publicly declared the Islamic State of Iraq was operating as ISIL, and has since asserted publicly it is the true inheritor of Usama Bin Ladin’s legacy. The Islamist jihadi group was then pronounced to be the Islamic State and declared a caliphate by Al Baghdadi, who also took the mantle as Caliph. He originally was in US custody, but was allowed to be set free.
While he wasn’t detained at GITMO, Al Baghdadi was a detainee at the largest US run detention facility in Iraq, Camp Bucca near Umm Qasr, which was named in memory of FDNY Fire Marshal Ronald Bucca who was killed in the 9/11 attack.
Al Baghdadi was among prisoners the Obama administration freed in 2009 as Obama wound down the US’s presence in Iraq.
Army Col. Kenneth King, the commanding officer of Camp Bucca when Al Baghdadi was released, has said he remembers Al Baghdadi saying, ‘I’ll see you guys in New York.’” King noted Al Baghdadi was aware many of his captors were reservists with the 306 Military Police Battalion based in Long Island, New York that included members of the New York police and fire departments.
Another released detainee back in the fight, Ibrahim Sulayman Muhammad Al Rubaysh, is Al Baghdadi’s link to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, some counterterrorism intelligence officials believe.
Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GITMO) twice determined that Al Rubaysh should continue to remain in “detention under DoD control.” He was captured in 2001 and spent five years at GITMO before the Bush administration released him into Saudi custody on December 13, 2006 – only weeks after JTF-GITMO declared for the second time he should remain under DoD control. He escaped from the Saudis and now is AQAP’s spiritual leader and jihadi recruiter.
Abd Al Rahman Mustafa Al Qaduli is a senior ISIS official who rejoined ISIL following his release from prison in early 2012. He traveled to Syria where he has worked with an ISIL network. He originally joined Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in 2004 and served as AQI leader Abu Musab Al Zarqawi’s deputy and as AQI emir of Mosul, Iraq. The Department of the Treasury designated Al Qaduli as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224 on May 14, 2014.
Editor’s note: Read about the Islamist jihadists who’ve been released from GITMO in the Homeland Security Today report, There Will be Blood: Freeing the Vilest of the Vile from GITMO.
Abu Mohammed Al Adnani, whose birth name is Taha Sobhi Falaha, is a senior leader of and official spokesman for ISIS. “He is the main conduit for the dissemination of ISIS messages, including its declaration of ISIS’ creation of an Islamic caliphate,” the State Department said. “In public statements, Al Adnani hasrepeatedly called for attacks against Westerners and has vowed ‘defeat’ for the United States. The Department of State designated Al Adnani as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on August 18, 2014.
Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili has served as a senior ISIS commanderand Shura Council member. Batirashvili has overseen an ISIS prison facility in Al Tabqa where ISIS is believed to have held foreign hostages. He’s worked closely with ISIS’s financial arm and has managed ISIS operations in the Manbij area of Syria. In May 2013, he was appointed ISIS’ northern commander of operations in Aleppo, Syria, as well as Al Raqqah, Latakia and the northern Idlib provinces. The Treasury Department designated Batirashvili a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on September 24, 2014.
Tariq Bin Al Tahar Bin Al Falih Al Awni Al Harzi was one of the first terrorists to join ISIS and has served as an ISIS official in Syria. He’s also helped raise funds from Gulf-based donors for ISIS and has recruited and facilitated the travel of ISIS fighters, the State Department said. He was named ISIS’ leader for the border region between Syria and Turkey, and, as of late 2013 he was chief of ISIS’ suicide bombers, overseeing ISIS’ “suicide bomber facilitation pipeline.”
Al Harzi also has procured and shipped weapons from Libya and Syria for ISIS operations in Iraq. On September 24, 2014, Department of the Treasury designated Al Harzi a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
More information about these individuals is located on the State Department’s Rewards for Justice website. Anyone with information on these individuals can contact the Rewards for Justice office via its website, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (1-800-877-3927) or mail, Rewards for Justice, Washington, D.C., 20520-0303, USA.
According to the State Department, since it was established 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 worldwide.”