WASHINGTON, May 31: TTP second-in-command Waliur Rehman may have been killed in a US drone attack on a tip provided by an individual but the US State Department is refusing to disclose the identity of that person.
At a regular briefing at the State Department a journalist asked the spokesperson if the person who had provided the information that led to Waliur Rehman’s death is eligible for the Rewards for Justice Programme.
The US administration gives this award to the people who help it catch or obliterate a person on its list of wanted criminals.
In a written response, the State Department confirmed that the United States was offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the location of Waliur Rehman.
But in the same statement the department said that it “cannot confirm Waliur Rehman’s death”. Such denials do not necessarily mean that the Americans believe Waliur Rehman is still alive.
The statement said that in general, anyone who provided reliable and actionable information that helped prevent or favourably resolve acts of international terrorism against the US anywhere in the world potentially might be eligible for a RJP reward.
In addition, anyone who provides information that leads to the identification or location of a key leader in an international terrorist organisation may be eligible for a reward.
Secretary of State John Kerry said in the statement that the US was at war with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, so the strikes were legal. He said the US waged the war in self-defence and as a last resort.
He noted drones had killed dozens of highly-trained Al Qaeda commanders, trainers, bomb-makers and operatives. He also asserted that drones had disrupted plots against planes, US transit systems, European cities and American troops in Afghanistan.