Policy: Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program
COUNTER-TERRORISM FACT SHEET
The Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program was established by the 1984 Act to Combat International Terrorism, Public Law 98-533, and is administered by the Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).
Under the Rewards Program, the U.S. Government offers rewards of up to $2 million for information that prevents or resolves acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens or property or leads to the arrest or conviction of terrorist criminals involved in such acts.
The reward offer is increased to up to $4 million when U.S. civil aviation is targeted by terrorists. The Air Transport Association of America and the Air Line Pilots Association, International have pledged up to $1 million each in funds to supplement rewards paid by the U.S. Government.
The Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program has been an effective tool in combatting terrorism. In the past few years, the U.S. Government has paid out over $3 million in about 20 cases to people who have come forward with credible information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of terrorism worldwide.
In addition, the U.S. Government ensures complete confidentiality to people who provide information on past or planned acts of terrorism. If appropriate, the U.S. Government will relocate these people and their families to the United States.
Overseas, people with information on past or planned acts of terrorism are urged to contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate or write to the following address:
HEROES P.O. Box 96781 Washington, DC 20090-6781 USA
Domestically, people should contact the FBI, write to the post office box address, or call the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) at:
In addition, the Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program Staff may be contacted over the global INTERNET at the following e-mail address:
INTERAGENCY REWARDS COMMITTEE
The Director of the Diplomatic Security Service or his/her designee chairs an interagency committee that identifies reward candidates and then recommends rewards to the Secretary of State. The committee serves as the forum for discussion of many aspects of this program.
The Interagency Rewards Committee is comprised of representatives from the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service Witness Security Program, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Energy, and the Department of State.
SPECIFIC PUBLICITY CAMPAIGNS
Ramzi Ahmed Yousef and Abdul Rahman Yasin
In August 1993, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) initiated an international publicity campaign offering an up to $2 million reward for information leading to the location and apprehension of Ramzi Ahmed Yousef (captured 2/7/95) and Abdul Rahman Yasin, two suspects in the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York on February 26, 1993.
Yousef and Yasin ads were placed in domestic and international publications, including the New York Times (8/23/93), the New York Daily News (2/25/94), the Jersey Journal (2/25/94), and Al Hayat (8/30/93). Ads also were placed in the following papers in Pakistan; The Jang, The Dawn, The Frontier Post, Nawa I Waqt, and the Pakistan Observer.
Posters and other printed materials were sent to U.S. diplomatic missions overseas for distribution.
In the Spring of 1994, match book covers with the faces of Yousef, Yasin, and Mir Aimal Kansi (wanted for the murder of two persons and permanent injury of three others outside CIA Headquarters in January 1993) were used for the first time to advertise these rewards. Approximately 75,000 (total) match books were printed in Arabic, Baluchi, and English.
The posters and match books were distributed in the New York/New Jersey area, Virginia, as well as extensively through Europe, the Middle East, and Pakistan.
Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah
On March 24, 1995, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) initiated an international publicity campaign advertising an up to $4 million reward for information leading to the location and apprehension of Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, indicted in the brutal bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988.
In addition to rewards posters, match books, pamphlets, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) is advertising this and our other reward offers on the global INTERNET (HEROES URL) through the following address:
An up to $2 million reward has been offered for information leading to the location and apprehension of those responsible for the murder of U.S. Consulate Karachi employees Gary Durell and Jackie Van Landingham, and the shooting of employee Mark McCloy. When the individuals who committed this attack are identified, a specific rewards campaign will be initiated.
Mir Aimal Kansi
On October 2, 1995, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) initiated an international publicity campaign advertising an up to $2 million reward for information leading to the location and apprehension of Mir Aimal Kansi, the alleged suspect in the murder of two persons and permanent injury of three others outside CIA Headquarters on January 25, 1993. Posters, match books, and other printed materials will be distributed in Pakistan. In addition, paid advertisements will run in newspapers in the Washington, DC, area and Pakistan. The reward also will be advertised over the global INTERNET at the above mentioned e-mail address.
GENERAL PUBLICITY EFFORTS
The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) has an active publicity campaign to promote the Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program. This campaign utilizes generic printed materials (printed in a variety of languages including Arabic, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish), and Public Service Announcements about the program featuring Actors Charles Bronson, Charlton Heston, and Charlie Sheen (produced in Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, and Spanish).
Printed materials were sent to all U.S. diplomatic posts and are displayed overseas in areas of high visibility acceptable to local authorities, and in the United States wherever possible.
In addition, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) has placed paid advertisements in a variety of international and domestic publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, Al Hayat, Al Hawadeth International magazine, The Beat (London tabloid), Time International, Die Welt, Paris Match, Pravda, and Le Soir.
U.S. diplomatic missions overseas have played a vital role in publicizing the Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program through local media.
In 1994, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) began advertising the Rewards Program on the covers of match books. Approximately 75,000 generic Rewards Program match books were printed in English, Arabic, and Spanish.
The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) is currently disseminating information through the global INTERNET on the Department's Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program.
The INTERNET has over 20 million subscribers with "international network connectivity" in 152 countries, including Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan, which the U.S. Government lists as "state sponsors" of international terrorism pursuant to Section 6 (J) of the Export Administration Act of 1979. By advertising the Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program over the INTERNET, our messages reach state-sponsor countries without censorship.
Users who have access to any of the commercial or shareware available World Wide Web browser software packages, such as Mosaic, Cello, or NetCruiser, can download the HEROES URL HomePage at:
Simply select/enter the URL above and you'll have access to information on the Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program. Click on the hypertext lines (highlighted) and download additional information on the specific cases targeted by the Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program.
Additionally, the Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program Staff can be reached via the INTERNET at the following e-mail address:
In the early years of the program, rewards were offered for information leading to the arrest or conviction of those persons responsible for specific terrorist attacks.
The following reward offers were announced publicly:
-- $250,000 for the December 4, 1984 hijacking of Kuwaiti Airlines Flight 221;
-- $250,000 for the June 13, 1965 hijacking of TWA Flight 847;
-- $100,000 for the June 19, 1985 assassination of four U.S. Marines and two U.S. civilians in El Salvador;
-- $100,000 for the August 7-8, 1985 attacks at Rhein-Main Air Force Base that killed three U.S. citizens;
-- $250,000 for the October 7, 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro;
-- $250,000 for the November 24, 1985 bombing of the U.S. Military Post Exchange at Rhein-Main Air Force Base;
-- $250,000 for the April 2, 1986 terrorist bombing of TWA 840; and
-- Up to $500,000 for the June 28, 1988 murder of U.S. Defense Attache William Nordeen in Athens.
In December 1988, the U.S. Department of State announced that the Rewards Program had been expanded to include payment for information that would lead to the "prevention, frustration, or favorable resolution of terrorist acts against U.S. persons or properties overseas."
After the brutal bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988, legislation was introduced in the U.S. Congress by Senators Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski (both Republicans from Alaska), and Representatives Dante Fascell (D-FL) and William Broomfield (R-MI) to raise the rewards payment ceiling from up to $500,000 to up to $2 million. President Bush signed this legislation on December 13, 1989.
In 1990, the State Department forged a unique public-private partnership with the Air Transport Association of America and the Air Line Pilots Association, International, in which each organization pledges up to $1 million to supplement rewards paid by the U.S. Government for information that prevents a terrorist act against U.S. civil aviation, or leads to the arrest and conviction of any person who has committed such an act. This has resulted in a maximum reward of up to $4 million in such cases.
The U.S. Government's standing reward offer of up to $2 million applies in all cases not addressed by the partnership agreement.
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