U.S. offers $12 million for Iran-based al Qaeda operatives
Photo: CNN
October 18th, 2012
04:37 PM ET

U.S. offers $12 million for Iran-based al Qaeda operatives

By Jamie Crawford

The United States is offering $12 million for two men described as al Qaeda financiers who are based in Iran and responsible for the movement of money and fighters to support the terror groups operations in the region.

The State Department has authorized a reward of up to $7 million for information leading to the location of Muhsin al-Fadhli, who U.S. officials believe to be the leader of al Qaeda's network in Iran. A similar reward of $5 million was offered for Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi, who serves as al-Fadhli's deputy in Iran.

In conjunction with the reward offers, the Treasury Department designated al-Harbi for his leadership role in al Qaeda and froze any assets of his under U.S. jurisdiction. It also prohibited all U.S. persons from conducting any transactions with him.

The move further exposes al Qaeda's "critically important Iran-based funding and facilitation network," said David S. Cohen, Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a written statement. "We will continue targeting this crucial source of al Qaeda's funding and support, as well as highlight Iran's ongoing complicity in this network's operation."

Al-Fadhli was previously designated by the Treasury Department in 2005 for providing financial and material support to al Qaeda and the network of the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed by U.S. forces in Iraq in 2006.

Through his leadership of al Qaeda's base in Iran, al-Fadhli oversees an operation that has moved operatives from Iran to destinations in Europe, North Africa and Syria. He also uses a network of jihadist donors from his native Kuwait to send money to Syria via Turkey, the State Department said.

Al-Fadhli's ascension to the top al Qaeda spot in Iran happened after the State Department put a $10 million reward for the capture of Yasin al-Suri in December, a senior official from the Treasury Department told reporters in a conference call Thursday.

The Iranian government "appears to have taken al-Suri into protective custody in Iran" following that action, thereby allowing al-Fadhli to be elevated as al-Suri's public profile faded. Al Qaeda has been able to operate for years in Iran, the official said, after the Iranian government "secretly agreed" to allow operatives of the group to operate from its soil.

Al-Fadhli was among the few senior operatives within al Qaeda to receive advance notice the group would strike the United States on September 11, 2001, the State Department said.

In his role as al-Fadhli's deputy, al-Habri is said to facilitate the travel of extremists to Iraq or Afghanistan from Iran on behalf of al Qaeda. He is believed to have sought financing to support attacks by the group as well.

Al-Habri, who joined al Qaeda's network in Iran in 2011, has also appeared on a most wanted list in Saudi Arabia for having traveled to Afghanistan to join the terror group, and for providing technical support for it on the Internet.

Al Qaeda's ability to operate in Iran results from a quid pro quo with the Iranian government, the Treasury Department says.

In return for refusing to conduct operations or recruit operatives from inside Iran, al Qaeda is given the freedom to operate by the Iranian government and uninhibited ability to travel for extremists and their families.

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Filed under: Iran • State Department • Terrorism • Treasury
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. hassan bahmani

    Hi
    this is hassan bahmani from IRAN i am 40 years old and i am computer engineer i married and i have a son , i was working
    in very company in sipah and worked with government i know the leaders of al-qaede where did they living
    just if i help you i am not safe if you will know this you must promise to me for safe my family and me
    so i tell all information about them

    October 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  2. sasss31

    I know that a lot of you are ignorant but it is well known that the Islamic Republic harbored high ranking Al Qaeda officials including the immediate family members of Osama Bin Laden's family after 9/11. No one is saying that the IRI is working hand-in-hand with Al Qaeda. What we are saying is that the Islamic Republic has been providing a safehaven for Al Qaeda. This is an established fact. Now you can bury your sand and cry conspiracy; but some of us more mature individuals use something called facts, reason, and evidence.

    October 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • Leila Khaled of the PFLP

      How much did the CIA give you in payroll, you member of Zionist-backed Al-Qaeda (Al-CIAda)?

      November 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  3. alexis

    ridiculous propaganda piece. Fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice...shame on me

    October 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  4. will

    First off, CNN is a joke and hurts my brain to watch and read. Secondly, as I stated in a previous reply. It is quite clear that Iran is maneuvering their country closer and closer to our military bases. I understand that Iran is dangerously close to American bases, but I believe, maybe ignorantly, that war is not the answer.

    Much respect to Ron Paul, Gary Johnson and all those fighting the one party system.

    PS The EU just one the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. My head hurts again

    October 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • will

      I mean really, how dare Iran put their country so close to our military bases over there.

      PS Obama one the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. GOD DAMN IT!

      October 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • John

      Your grammar makes my head hurt.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  5. Elena

    Iraq story all over again. US government make a fool of itself to report such news and cnn is no difference.
    People are much more wise to believe such a bull... piece of garbage that you call it news. Shame on cnn and treasury.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply
  6. sasss31

    A lot of ignorant people on this thread. It is a fact that the Islamic Republic has been harboring Al Qaeda operatives inside of Iran. This has been known for many years. So many ignoramuses who think they are so intelligent on here. Quite comical.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • Elena

      Iran based Al Qaeda? I laugh and laugh for ignorance in people like you

      October 19, 2012 at 11:00 am | Reply
    • will

      shame shame shame.

      Lets stop trying to make the 21st century as bloody as the 20th. Just because Iran put their country so close to our military bases doesn't mean we need to stir up trouble.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Wow, you're really stupid. Look up the demographics of Iran, and learn a bit about the beliefs of AlQaeda, and then come here and pretend to be smart. Ah, I hate it when kids talk politics..

      October 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • Schlomo Goldberg

      Yeah sassssss31, I agree that there are ignorant people here ... not a lot though, just one, namely YOU.

      Hope you are enjoying israel's pleasant weather these days.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Reply
    • sasss31

      I know that a lot of you are ignorant but it is well known that the Islamic Republic harbored high ranking Al Qaeda officials including the immediate family members of Osama Bin Laden's family after 9/11. No one is saying that the IRI is working hand-in-hand with Al Qaeda. What we are saying is that the Islamic Republic has been providing a safehaven for Al Qaeda. This is an established fact. Now you can bury your sand and cry conspiracy; but some of us more mature individuals use something called facts, reason, and evidence.

      October 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  7. Lie Detector

    What next from the Ministry of Information? Tomorrow we will learn that Ahmedinejad killed Santa Claus and all the puppies in the world. CNN, you have lost all credibility with me. I thought the "other" well-known "media outlet" was bad...are you trying to equal them? Get ready, folks: The slowly-boiling frogs are being mind-adjusted for more empirical war. The "media outlets" – notice they are not referred to as "news" – are parroting the lies dictated to them. Cyber-attack? Well, one "Senator" "believes" they are coming from Iran. Within two weeks, the "media outlets" are reporting it as stone fact. Never mind that there is NO EVIDENCE at all to support this (TRUST me on this). Panetta starts referring to "Pearl Harbors" and "9/11's" in the meantime. Hmm. Now, we learn that "Al-Qaeda" is operating out of Iran. Hmm. Yeah, this doesn't sound like propaganda at all. I'm relieved in a sad way that the comments posted here show that not everyone is a mindless sheep. Sad, because enough people are in order for it to work. Maybe it's better being one og the hynotized. They do say ignorance is bliss.

    October 19, 2012 at 7:37 am | Reply
  8. Johan

    PROPOGANDA LIE

    October 19, 2012 at 7:10 am | Reply
  9. Fred

    Another pile of nonsense, propagated by neocon/neoliberal Israeli firsters. The media eats up all these nonsense, to bring about more wars, for the benefit of Israel, without question just like hot cakes.

    October 19, 2012 at 4:35 am | Reply
  10. RQ

    Weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda support in IRAN, sounds like IRAQ all over again.

    October 19, 2012 at 3:52 am | Reply
  11. Dave DeLaat

    Jamie get a life..become aware and try to wake up..lol

    October 19, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
  12. fedupcitizen

    Wow you call this news? Now don't even have the decency to be good at creating propaganda articles! A question... are you paid extra with each mention of Al Qaeda or you mention that every other word because you like the sound of it? CNN you are carry the flag in the warmongering PSY-OP propaganda and so so really with no shame! You are simply revolting.

    October 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  13. freakqnc

    Wow you call this news? Now don't even have the decency to be good at creating propaganda articles! A question... are you paid extra with each mention of Al Qaeda or you mention that every other word because you like the sound of it? CNN you are carry the flag in the warmongering PSY-OP propaganda and so so really with no shame! You are simply revolting.

    October 18, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  14. Q

    I would like to help and get the rewards but is there any picture of these two people?

    October 18, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Reply
    • Larry

      ...to Q.... He looks similar to Romney. Also, their both bad for the USA

      October 18, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Reply
    • a

      http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2012/02/report_new_leader_of.php

      October 23, 2012 at 12:27 am | Reply
  15. JCDavis

    It's time for Iraq to put out a deck of playing cards with the faces of world-class criminals like Bush and Cheney on them. And they could offer ten million for their heads.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  16. Peter B

    Not buying this load of lies. What happened to real journalism.? Please don't patronize me with this BS, no more war and lies. CNN sucks.

    October 18, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  17. Dutch

    Awesome, now the government is writing propaganda articles for the CNN? Oh wait, nothing new there ....

    October 18, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  18. zac

    you cant deceive us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! propaganda and its not fooling anyone. anyone working for the cnn is a traitor the u.s. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  19. Leila Khaled of the PFLP

    LOL!!! More like Zionist-based al-Qaeda operatives, am I right? Obviously, the biggest non-Muslim supporters of the Islamofascists and extreme right-wing Muslims are none other than right-wing hatemongering and imperialist Neoconservative Americans and Zionists in Israel. Until all right-wing elements of neocons, Zionists, Neo-Nazis, monarchists, and Wahhabi Jihadist types all get the death sentences and get tried for their warcrimes and for their human rights violations and for how they spill the blood of millions around the world and make peace and freedom harder to achieve, we will henceforth always have problems.

    October 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  20. jion siamak

    Israel is supporting and financing the Al Qaeda group Jundullah in Pakistan to carry out terrorist acts in Iran, then we have the US supporting Al Qaeda in Syria to counter Iranian influence and training the MEK terrorist group in Nevada for terrorist missions against Iran. So, Jamie Crawford is either smoking something really good or he is also under Israeli payroll as Jundullah.

    October 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  21. ThomasD

    What a crock!! Mainstream media at its finest. Hey cnn! Go back to your government informer and tell them we do not buy thier bs. We do not support war with Iran.

    October 18, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  22. Blackbird

    Shame on you Jamie ... When did you sell out from real journalism to govt propaganda?

    October 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  23. Charlie

    This is a joke. Iran would never allow AlQaeda on its soils. Anyone with any trace of intelligence knows that the first thing AlQaeda would do is attack Iranians, since the Salafi/Wanabi group believes that Shiites are the lowest of the lowest, and should be killed wherever found. CNN lost all credibility over the last few years!

    October 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  24. yoyo

    PROPAGANDA! stop the war drums! and wake up!

    October 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  25. War Excuse

    *cough*Propaganda*cough*

    October 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  26. George Patton

    "Iran based Al Qaeda"? Somehow I don't think so! The vast majority of Iranians are Shiites while Al Qaeda members are Sunnis. Each sect hates the other the same as Al Capone and George "Bugs" Moran. What does the right-wing news media take us for anyway?

    October 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  27. krm1007 ©™

    They are looking at the worng places. Treasury should be investigating the Indian Cricket League (IPL) as a means of financing terror. And the betting that goes along with it out of Singapore and other Souteast Asian countries. We haven't learned our lesson yet...in procrastination.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  28. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply

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