13 November 2002
U.S. Offers Reward for Information on Terrorist Financing
(Government to pay up to $5 million for information, say officials)
The Bush administration will offer up to $5 million for information
that helps law enforcement officials stop the flow of money to
terrorists and the networks that support them, Treasury Under
Secretary for Enforcement Jimmy Gurule says.
In a joint press conference November 13, Gurule and State Department
Coordinator for Counterterrorism Francis Taylor said the reward would
be offered for information leading to the dismantling of any system
used to finance a terrorist organization, and for information leading
to the arrest or conviction of those who planned or aided an act of
terrorism against U.S. persons or property.
"Our strategy is simple: international terrorism is financed by money
sent to terrorists from sources around the world; thus, we must
disrupt and stop that flow of money," Gurule said.
The United States has also launched a public information campaign to
publicize the reward program, using posters, flyers and paid
advertisements, Gurule said. He added that the government is seeking
the cooperation of trade associations representing banks, convenience
stores and others to help raise awareness.
Gurule said the program might help investigators "gain new information
and insights into how terrorist financiers are moving money for deadly
Following the September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon, the United States launched a campaign to cut off terrorists
from their sources of money around the world. Gurule said the campaign
had succeeded in freezing about $113 million in terrorist assets, but
stressed that much more work needs to be done.
"The money trail can be very difficult to follow," Gurule said. The
new rewards program provides a way to "invigorate our strategy," he
Money for the initiative will come from the long-standing "Rewards for
Justice" program, which is administered by the State Department. That
program, created by a 1984 law, has paid out more than $9.5 million to
23 people for information that has led directly to the disruption of
planned terrorist acts and the prosecution of terrorist, Taylor said.
He said the Rewards for Justice program had contributed to the arrest
of Ramzi Yousef, the convicted mastermind in the 1993 World Trade
Center bombing. "Thanks to information provided by a brave informant,
Yousef was arrested and convicted of his terrorist crimes. This is a
scenario we want to see repeated over and over again. And I can assure
you that it has, and it will again," Taylor said.
More information on Treasury's Terrorist Financing Rewards Program is
available online at: http://www.treas.gov/rewards/
Following is the text of Gurule's statement to reporters:
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Under Secretary for Enforcement Jimmy Gurule
Moments after terrorists attacked our nation, President Bush told the
American people that we will direct every resource at our command to
win the war against terrorists: every means of diplomacy; every tool
of intelligence; every instrument of law enforcement; every financial
Today, the United States is turning to one of its most effective tools
against terrorism -- the Rewards for Justice Program -- to fight the
war against terrorism financing. Today, we are offering a reward of up
to $5 million for information leading to the dismantling of any system
or scheme used to finance a terrorist organization and information
leading to the arrest or conviction of those who planned or aided in
any act of terrorism against U.S. persons or property.
President Bush has made it perfectly clear that stopping terrorism
starts with stopping the flow of money. Our strategy is simple:
international terrorism is financed by money sent to terrorists from
sources around the world; thus, we must disrupt and stop that flow of
money. This program will help us gain new information and insights
into how terrorist financiers are moving money for deadly purposes. We
will then use this information to uncover terrorist support networks
and to starve the terrorists of funding.
Let me get right down to how this program works: If you have any
information about individuals or organizations that finance terrorists
and you are located within the United States, call 1-866-867-8300. If
you are outside the United States, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate. Responses are kept strictly confidential.
This campaign -- as part of the existing "Rewards for Justice Program"
-- will only work if we raise the public's overall awareness and
Accordingly, beginning today, across the United States, and around the
world, a massive global advertising campaign to circulate information
on this new program begins. In addition, on the back of every poster
and inside every brochure we distribute, as well as on our web site,
will be "red flags" on terrorist financing.
The materials we have developed identify both illicit sources and
types of suspicious transactions, which may be connected to terrorist
financing. Copies of these materials will be provided for you today.
Later this afternoon they will be posted on numerous U.S. government
websites - including the White House, Treasury, and State Departments
and, in time, all our U.S. embassies. This campaign will be advertised
vigorously. We will use posters, flyers, paid advertisements, the
internet, and any other venue we feel is appropriate. In addition,
among other activities -- we will ask the trade associations which
represent banks, convenience stores, pawn shops and other germane
industries to inform their memberships about this program. We are
calling on the front lines of this war on terrorist financing to unite
against the common scourge of blood money.
As President Bush has said, we're making progress in this different
kind of war. The enemy we seek hides in caves and operates in the dark
alleys of the world, yet slowly but surely we're dismantling the
terrorist network. With the public's help, this program will help us
protect the homeland by hunting these killers down, one at a time, and
bringing them to justice.
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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