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US offers reward for jihadist who urged attacks over Trump's Jerusalem move

Batarfi called on Muslims to attack Jews and Americans everywhere [AFP]

Date of publication: 19 October, 2018

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The United States on Thursday offered a $5 million reward to find the al-Qaeda leader who urged worldwide attacks on Jews and Americans after Washington recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
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 recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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, Batarfi called President Donald Trump's precedent-breaking declaration on Jerusalem "a declaration of a new Jewish-Crusader war" and called on Muslims to "rise and attack the Jews and the Americans everywhere".

The US State Department said 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 has carved out its own territory in war-battered Yemen despite being frequently targeted by US drones.

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