Assistant Director for Threat Investigations and Analysis, Robert A. Hartung, today announced the U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information that leads law enforcement or security forces to Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, also known as Yasin al-Suri.
“Today’s announcement marks the first time that the Rewards for Justice program has offered a reward for information that leads to a terrorist financier. Under an agreement between al-Qaida and the Government of Iran, Yasin al-Suri has helped move money and recruits through Iran to al-Qaida leaders in neighboring countries in the region.” -Mr. Hartung
The State Department says that from his sanctuary inside Iran, al-Suri has moved terrorist recruits through Iran to al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. He has also arranged for the release of al-Qaida operatives from Iranian prisons and their transfer to Pakistan. He has also funneled significant amounts of money through Iran to al-Qaida leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It has long been known that al-Qaida and the Iranian Government cooperate against common enemies.
The agreement between al-Qaida and the Iranian Government is a strange relationship, but it allows al-Suri to operate inside the borders of Iran.
Since 2005, Al-Suri has been moving money and al-Qaida recruits to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Mr. Hartung says Yasin al-Suri is a dedicated terrorist working in support of al-Qaida with the support of the Government of Iran, which the Department of State has designated a state sponsor of terrorism.
Yasin al-Suri is a key fundraiser for the al-Qaida terrorist network, and a continuing danger to the interests of the United States and its citizens.
Al-Suri has collected money from donors and fundraisers throughout the Persian Gulf region. He has funneled significant amounts of money through Iran to al-Qaida’s leadership in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Department of State has not disclosed how much they think has been distributed.
“Locating al-Suri and shutting down his operations would eliminate a significant financial resource for al-Qaida. For that reason, we urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of al-Suri to contact the Rewards for Justice program, a U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate, or a U.S. military commander immediately.” -Mr. Hartung
Mr. Hartung says the RFJ program has been an effective tool in the fight against international terrorism. Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid more than $100 million to more than 70 people who provided credible information that prevented international terrorist attacks or helped to bring terrorists to justice.
“Through the efforts of the courageous people that have stepped forward with information about wanted terrorist suspects, the Rewards for Justice program has helped law enforcement authorities throughout the world to stop terrorists and to save lives. I am hopeful that the reward offer we are announcing today will play a similar role in bringing Yasin al-Suri to justice.”
– Mr. Hartung
Back in July, the U.S. Treasury Department designated al-Suri under Executive Order 13224, as an individual with whom U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in commercial or financial transactions.
Al-Suri was born in 1982 in al-Qamishli, Syria. He has black hair and brown eyes. He has used other aliases, including Yaseen al-Suri, Izz al-Din Abd al-Farid Khalil, and Zayn al-Abadin.
Information about Yasin al-Suri is located on the Rewards for Justice web site (www.rewardsforjustice.net/Suri.
Anyone with information relating to al-Suri’s location should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, any U.S. military commander, or the Rewards for Justice office, through the website (www.rewardsforjustice.net).