The US State Department posted a 10 million dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of a senior al-Qaeda financier, Yasin al-Suri, believed to be operating from Iran.
The bounty marks the first offered for an al-Qaeda financier and takes aim at disrupting a financial network that has operated from within Iran’s borders since 2005, said Eytan Fisch, a senior Treasury Department official.
Robert Hartung, a senior State Department official, said that under an agreement between al Qaeda and the government of Iran, al-Suri had helped move money and recruits through Iran to al-Qaeda leaders in neighboring countries.
Hartung said al-Suri, who is originally from Syria, also was known as Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil.
The U.S. Treasury Department in July blacklisted al-Suri and five other members of his network, exposing what the United States says are direct links between Tehran and the al Qaeda network.
Hartung said al-Suri’s network serves as an important conduit for channeling both money and fighters from around the Middle East to al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
“He is a dedicated terrorist working in support of al-Qaeda with the support of the government of Iran,” Hartung said. “As a key fundraiser for the al-Qaeda terrorist network, he is a continuing danger to the interests of the United States.”