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US govt offers $12m for information on Hizbollah key leaders

WASHINGTON: The U.S. State Department on Tuesday announced financial rewards for information that would lead to two senior leaders of specially designated global terrorist group Hizbollah.  

The Department is offering a reward of up to $7 million for information on Talal Hamiyah, and up to $5 million for information on Fu’ad Shukr, under the Rewards for Justice Program, as per an official press release issued by the State Department.

It said Hizbollah has been involved in multiple terrorist attacks against Americans, including the suicide truck bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in April 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in October 1983, the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut in September 1984, and the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in 1985. Hizballah’s victims have also included numerous other nationalities, it added.

Talal Hamiyah has been linked to several terrorist attacks, hijackings, and kidnappings targeting U.S. citizens and ee leads Hizballah’s international terrorist branch, the External Security Organization (ESO), according to the statement.

The ESO maintains terrorist cells worldwide and is responsible for planning and conducting terrorist attacks outside of Lebanon. Those attacks have targeted primarily Israelis and Americans.

The US had earlier designated Hamiyah as a specially designated global terrorist on September 13, 2012, it said.

Spokesperson for the State Department said Fu’ad Shukr is a senior Hizbollah military commander of the group’s forces in southern Lebanon and a member of Hizballah’s highest military body, the Jihad Council. Shukr played a key role in Hizballah’s recent military operations in Syria and in planning and launching the 1983 attack on the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in which 241 U.S. service personnel were killed.

He was designated as a specially designated terrorist on July 21, 2015.



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