These 4 Key ISIS Leaders Have Had $20 Million Placed On Their Heads By The U.S. Government
On Tuesday, ISIS took credit for a shooting outside a Muhammad cartoon contest and exhibition in Garland, Texas, making it the first terror attack carried out on American soil the group has claimed responsibility for. As officials work to verify the group's connection to the two men behind the attack, they're also setting their sights on much bigger targets. The U.S. government has offered $20 million for four ISIS leaders who have been instrumental in the group's advancements across Syria and Iraq, a reminder that the majority of the group's violence remains overseas.
ISIS announced on its online radio station on Tuesday that "two soldiers of the caliphate" were behind the attack on the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. In response, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said that the FBI and other intelligence agents were investigating the two suspects' affiliations with ISIS, but later that day, officials said they doubted the group's direct involvement with the shooting.
Despite the tenuous connection, the group's attempts to take credit was shortly followed by the government's announcement that it had added four new ISIS members to its Rewards For Justice program: Abdul Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, and Tariq bin al-Tahar bin al-Falih al-Awni al-Harzi.
These men, according to the FBI, are all high-ranking members of ISIS who have carried out or overseen widespread human rights abuses, like mass executions, rapes, and the killing of children. However, they each have a different role and respective bounty on their heads.
Abdul Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli
According to the State Department's Rewards For Justice website, al-Qaduli is a senior ISIS official who joined its ranks in 2012 after being released from prison. Before that, he had been with al Qaeda since 2004, serving under the command of now deceased leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Last May, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated al-Qaduli as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for his role in ISIS. The government is offering up to $7 million for any information on al-Qaduli.
Abu Mohammed al-Adnani
As the official spokesperson for ISIS, the government website describes al-Adnani as the "main conduit for the dissemination of official messages, including ISIL’s declaration of the creation of an Islamic Caliphate." The senior member was also one of the first foreign fighters to combat Coalition Forces in Iraq before becoming the group's spokesman. The government is offering up to $5 million for information on al-Adnani.
Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili
A Georgian national, this Syrian-based ISIS member has held several top positions over the last few years. As of the middle of last year, Batirashvili was a senior commander and Shura Council member based in al-Raqqah, and he oversaw a prison in nearby al-Taqba, where foreign prisoners may have been held. Batirashvili, also known as Omar Shishani, also worked closely with the militant group's financial sector and has been integral in the mobilization of ISIS soldiers in various provinces. There is an up to $5 million reward for any information on Batirashvili.
Tariq bin al-Tahar bin al-Falih al-Awni al-Harzi
According to Rewards For Justice, al-Harzi has been an ISIS official based in Syria since mid-2014 and is known to be one of the first to join the group. Al-Harzi has cultivated a high profile for helping the group raise funds and recruit new members. Acting as a gateway to Syria, al-Harzi was in charge of receiving new foreign recruits (from Europe and elsewhere) in Turkey, training them, and facilitating their travel to Syria. As of late 2013, al-Harzi was also the leader of the group's suicide bombers. There is an up to $3 million reward for any information on al-Harzi.
Images: Rewards For Justice