$20m for tips on ISIS-K chief and airport bombers

Reward announcement follows death of global ISIS boss Al Qurayshi in a US special forces raid

People carry an injured person to hospital after a suicide bombing at Kabul airport on August 26, 2021, for which ISIS claimed responsibility. Reuters TV
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The US said on Monday it was offering $10 million each for information on the whereabouts of ISIS-K leader Sanaullah Ghafari and for tips leading to the arrest of those behind the deadly August 2021 bombing of Kabul airport.

Gentry Smith, from the US State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, said the cash payouts would encourage tip-offs that could lead to the arrest of ringleaders and militants of the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan.

The message to terrorists was simple, added Mr Smith: “We will come after you and find you.”

Ghafari, also known as Shahab Al Muhajir, has since June 2020 headed ISIS-K, which has an estimated 3,000-5,000 fighters.

The group claimed responsibility for the bombing at Kabul airport last August, which killed 13 US soldiers and at least 170 Afghans.

ISIS-K remains a “resilient enemy” despite suffering heavy losses while fighting US and Nato forces in previous years, said US counter-terrorism official Chris Landberg.

The group is “concentrated in eastern Afghanistan and has demonstrated the capability to conduct lethal attacks throughout the country”, said Mr Landberg.

ISIS-K is an offshoot of the ISIS group that once carved out a caliphate across parts of Syria and Iraq.

The group's former leader, Muhammad Al Mawla, also known as Abu Ibrahim Al Hashimi Al Qurayshi, blew himself up along with family members during a raid by US special forces on a house in northern Syria last week.

Updated: February 08, 2022, 1:36 PM
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