US authorities offer $10 million for Hezbollah terror suspect in Hariri’s killing
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The United States on Monday offered $10 million to find a fugitive Hezbollah member who was convicted over the assassination of Lebanon’s former prime minister Rafic Hariri.
The State Department said it would offer the reward for “information leading to the location or identification” of Salim Ayyash or “information leading to preventing him from engaging in an act of international terrorism against a US person or US property.”
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon, set up by the United Nations in the Netherlands, in December convicted Ayyash in absentia to life in prison over the killing of Hariri in 2005.
Ayyash, 57, is believed to be in hiding in Lebanon where Hezbollah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah has refused to hand him over.
The tribunal has since said it will also try Ayyash over three other attacks on Lebanese politicians in the mid-2000s.
The US State Department said that Ayyash has also plotted to harm US military personnel.
Hariri was allegedly killed because he opposed Lebanon’s control by Syria, which is allied with Hezbollah, a Shia militant movement backed by Iran.
The assassination sparked the Cedar Revolution which forced out Syrian troops.
The United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist group but the movement wields huge political power in Lebanon and keeps well-armed troops outside control of the state.
Source: The Arab Weekly