Wednesday, May 14, 2008

US slashes reward for al-Qaida Iraq leader

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration has slashed its reward for the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq from $5 million to $100,000 because it feels he's lost effectiveness and is no longer worth such a steep price, officials said Tuesday.

Over the course of the last year, the government first reduced the bounty for Abu Ayyub al-Masri from $5 million to $1 million and then removed him entirely from the State Department's Rewards for Justice Program, which pays tipsters for information leading to the death or arrest and conviction of wanted terrorists, the officials said.

Information on al-Masri is now worth only up to $100,000 under a separate and less well-known rewards program run by the Defense Department, which asked that he be taken off the State Department list, they said.

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