United States offers US$10m reward for arrest of Benghazi attackers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 November, 2013, 6:38am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 November, 2013, 6:39am

It's not been advertised or disclosed until now, but the US State Department has had a US$10 million reward on offer since January for information leading to those behind the attack on September 11 last year that killed the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in Benghazi.

The men died when militants believed to have ties to al-Qaeda affiliates attacked a loosely guarded US diplomatic compound and a nearby CIA annex in the eastern Libyan city on the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the United States.

The attacks touched off political warfare on Capitol Hill, with Republicans accusing US President Barack Obama's administration of telling shifting stories about who was behind the attacks. Democrats accuse Republicans of politicising a tragedy.

The State Department said Secretary of State John Kerry had confirmed the offer of the reward - part of the department's so-called Rewards for Justice programme - in a letter on Friday.

Kerry disclosed the reward in a letter to Congressman Michael McCaul, a Republican who chairs the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee and who had written to the secretary of state asking why the State Department had not offered one.

"The State Department today confirmed that since January of 2013 the Rewards for Justice (RFJ) programme has had a reward offer of up to US$10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of any individual involved in the September 11-12, 2012 Benghazi attacks," the department said.

"Due to security issues and sensitivities surrounding the investigation, the event-specific reward offer has not been publicly advertised on the RFJ website," it added, saying the programme can work without advertising rewards on the internet.