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U.S. State Department offers rewards for information about location of 3 Taliban leaders
World | incidents | 10:21, 10 March 2018 | 1306

AKIPRESS.COM - The U.S. Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program is offering rewards for information leading to the identification or location of three key leaders associated with the terrorist organization Tehrik–e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and affiliated factions.

The Department is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information on TTP leader Maulana Fazlullah, and up to $3 million each for information on Abdul Wali and Mangal Bagh.

Maulana Fazlullah is the leader of the TTP, a terrorist organization that has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist acts against Pakistani and U.S. interests, including the failed attempt by Faisal Shahzad to detonate an explosive device in New York City’s Times Square on May 1, 2010. Under his leadership, the TTP has also claimed responsibility for the December 16, 2014, attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan in which gunmen killed 148 people, including 132 students. Fazlullah also is responsible for the June 2012, beheading of 17 Pakistani soldiers, and the October 9, 2012, shooting of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. In 2015, the Department designated Fazlullah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224, which freezes all of his assets based in the United States or in possession or control of U.S. persons.

Abdul Wali is the leader of Jamaat ul-Ahrar (JUA), a militant faction affiliated with TTP. Under Wali’s leadership, JUA has staged multiple attacks in the region targeting civilians, religious minorities, military personnel, and law enforcement, and was responsible for the killing of two Pakistani employees of the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar in early March 2016.

Mangal Bagh is the leader of Lashkar-e-Islam, a militant faction affiliated with TTP. Under his leadership, LeI operatives have attacked NATO convoys. His group generates revenue from drug trafficking, smuggling, kidnapping, and collection of “taxes” on transit trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. In September 2007, the Government of Pakistan announced a reward offer of about $60,000 for the capture of, or information leading to the arrest of, Mangal Bagh.

Each of these individuals is believed to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of the United States and its nationals. In addition to opposing the Pakistani military, one of TTP’s stated goals is the expulsion of Coalition troops from Afghanistan. The group has demonstrated a close alliance with al-Qa’ida, and, since 2008, has also repeatedly publicly threatened to attack the U.S. homeland.

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