Terrorism

US offers $10 million for Hizbullah fugitive over al-Hariri killing

By Al-Mashareq and AFP

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A child takes pictures of the memorial flame erected at the Beirut site of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri on February 14, 2016 -- the 11th anniversary of his death. [Anwar Amro/AFP]

WASHINGTON -- The US State Department's Rewards for Justice programme on Monday (March 29) announced it is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the location or identification of Hizbullah operative Salim Jamil Ayyash.

The reward offer is also for information that leads to preventing Ayyash from engaging in an act of international terrorism.

The 57-year-old Hizbullah operative is known to have been involved in efforts to harm US military personnel, the State Department said.

Ayyash is a senior operative in Hizbullah's Unit 121, the group's assassinations squad which receives its orders directly from Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

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The US State Department's Rewards for Justice programme is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the location or identification of Salim Jamil Ayyash, a senior operative in the assassination unit of Lebanese Hizbullah. [Rewards for Justice]

On December 11, an international tribunal sentenced Ayyash in absentia to five concurrent sentences of life imprisonment on terrorism-related charges.

These pertained to the February 2005 suicide truck bombing in Beirut that killed Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri and 21 others, and wounded a further 226 persons.

The tribunal found that Ayyash led the "assassination team" that carried out the attack on al-Hariri and was actively involved in the assassination on the day of the attack.

The tribunal has since said it will also try Ayyash over three other attacks on Lebanese politicians in the mid-2000s.

Ayyash is believed to be in hiding in Lebanon, where Nasrallah has refused to hand him over.

He was born November 10, 1963 in Harouf, Lebanon. He has resided in multiple areas of Lebanon including Hadath, Nabatiyyeh and Beirut's southern suburbs.

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