US offers reward for Al-Qaeda jihadist

US offers $5 million reward to find Al-Qaeda terrorist who urged attacks on Jews and Americans after Washington recognized Jerusalem.

Elad Benari ,

Flash 90

The United States on Thursday offered a $5 million reward to find Al-Qaeda leader Khalid Batarfi, who urged worldwide attacks on Jews and Americans after Washington recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital last December, AFP reported.

The Saudi-born Batarfi is a veteran of the jihadist fighters who backed the Taliban in Afghanistan and has become a senior leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which the United States considers the global network's deadliest branch.

In a video released in January, weeks after Trump’s Jerusalem move, Batarfi described the decision as "a declaration of a new Jewish-Crusader war" and called on Muslims to "rise and attack the Jews and the Americans everywhere."

He was subsequently placed on the US State Department’s list of global terrorists.

The State Department said on Thursday it was offering $5 million to anyone who could lead authorities to Batarfi or contribute to his arrest or prosecution.

The United States also raised from $5 million to $10 million the reward offered for Qasim al-Rimi, considered the emir of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

He is already under US and UN sanctions after being linked to a deadly 2008 attack outside the US embassy in Yemen and for his alleged support to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear bomber who unsuccessfully tried to blow up a US-bound flight on Christmas Day in 2009.

Formed by the 2009 merger of Al-Qaeda's Saudi and Yemen operations, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP has carved out its own territory in war-battered Yemen despite being frequently targeted by US drones.

AQAP has carried out many terrorist attacks in Yemen in recent years and has also targeted the West, having in 2015 claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris and then calling for “lone wolf attacks” against Western targets.

The leader of AQAP, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, was killed in an American air strike in June of 2015.