The US Department of State has said that it increased reward offers for information leading to the location, arrest, or conviction of al-Qaeda key leaders Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and Sayf al-Adl to $10 million.
This represents a doubling of the previous reward offers of $5 million each announced in December 2000, it said in a statement.
Both individuals served as members of al-Qaeda’s leadership council, and al-Adl also served on the group’s military committee, it said.
They were charged by a federal grand jury in November 1998 for their role in the deadly August 7, 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, said the statement.
In 2001, Abdullah and al-Adl were added to the UN Security Council’s al-Qaeda Sanctions List as well as the US Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Nationals under Executive Order 13224 for their activities in support of the terrorist group, it added.
The State Department encouraged anyone with information about them to contact the Rewards for Justice office. “All information will be kept strictly confidential,” it said.
The Rewards for Justice Program is administered by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid in excess of $145 million to more than 90 individuals who provided actionable information that helped bring terrorists to justice or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide.
Al-Adl was a lieutenant colonel in the Egyptian Special Forces until his arrest in 1987. As early as 1990, al-Adl and other al-Qaeda operatives provided military and intelligence training in various countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Sudan, for the use of al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups, including the Egyptian Jihad.
In 1992 and 1993, he and Abdullah provided military training to al-Qaeda operatives as well as Somali tribesmen who fought against US forces in Mogadishu during Operation Restore Hope.
He and Abdullah have been charged by a federal grand jury in November 1998 for their role in the bombings of the US embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.
After the bombings, al-Adl moved to southeastern Iran and lived under the protection of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. In April 2003, Iranian authorities placed him, Abdullah, and other al-Qaeda leaders under house arrest.
In September 2015, al-Adl and four other senior al-Qaeda leaders were released from Iranian custody in exchange for an Iranian diplomat kidnapped by the terrorist group in Yemen.
Al-Adl also was a senior lieutenant to Abu Musab al Zarqawi, founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq which later became ISIS.
As for Abdullah, known as Abu Mohammed al-Masri, he is an experienced financial officer, facilitator, and operational planner for al-Qaeda.
He has been linked to the Riyadh attacks in 2003, which according to US intelligence reports were carried out following orders from al-Qaeda leaders in southern Iran.