The federal government on Wednesday offered up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest of a man involved in smuggling and travel for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The reward offer comes amid increasing concern about ISIS’s ability to send extremists to Europe and the United States, following the group’s direction of Friday evening’s terror attacks across Paris, which killed 129 people.
Abu-Muhammad al-Shimali has been associated with ISIS or its predecessor, al Qaeda in Iraq, since 2005, the State Department said.
“He now serves as a key leader in ISIL’s Immigration and Logistics Committee,” the department added, using the administration's preferred acronym for the terrorist group, noting that he was responsible for coordinating travel of foreigners through Turkey and into Syria. He also formerly ran an intake center for new recruits, the department claimed.
Intelligence and law enforcement officials in the U.S. and Europe have raised alarms about Western travelers leaving to join forces with ISIS in its self-proclaimed caliphate before returning home. The alleged mastermind of Friday’s attacks in Paris, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is believed to have traveled to and from Syria from his home in Belgium.
Al-Shimali is one of many suspected ISIS leaders for whom the U.S. has offered a sizable reward.
Information leading to the arrest of the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, comes with a $10 million reward.
The government offered a $25 million reward in exchange for information leading to the capture of late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, which was never paid out after his death in 2011.