Filipino informant receives bounty reward from US embassy official
Laurenz Castillo  /  EPA
An unidentified U.S. official hands over part of $10 million (490 million Philippine pesos) bounty reward to one of four Filipino informants in Jolo on Thursday.
updated 6/7/2007 7:30:27 AM ET 2007-06-07T11:30:27

The U.S. ambassador to the Philippines handed over a $10 million reward Thursday to four Filipino informants whose tip led to the killing of the country’s two top terror suspects, the U.S. Embassy said.

It was the largest reward given so far by Washington in a campaign to wipe out al-Qaida-linked militants in the southern Philippines, where the U.S. military has been training and advising Filipino troops.

The U.S. promised a reward of up to $5 million each for Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani, who was slain in a September clash on southern Jolo island, and his presumed successor, Abu Sulaiman, who was killed on Jolo in January.

“Information provided by the brave Filipino citizens recognized today was instrumental in assisting the Armed Forces of the Philippines to track down and locate these two terrorist leaders,” the embassy said in a statement.

The four men, wearing masks to protect their identities, received the money in five black plastic suitcases at the Jolo provincial capitol complex from embassy officials.

Jolo offensive
More than 7,000 Filipino soldiers, backed by U.S. military surveillance and other noncombatant assistance, have been waging an offensive on Jolo since last August.

Authorities have declined to discuss the precise role of the informants and how their information contributed to the slayings of the two terror suspects, citing concerns for their safety.

Philippine officials have said the four informants included former Abu Sayyaf members who surrendered to the military and led troops in January to a jungle grave where remains were found. DNA test results later confirmed they were Janjalani’s.

Days earlier, U.S.-trained Philippine army special forces gunned down Abu Sulaiman, a veteran Abu Sayyaf guerrilla.

Accused of deadly kidnapping, ferry blast
The two men were accused of plotting the kidnapping of American and Filipino tourists from a resort on the southeastern island of Palawan in 2001, during which one of the Americans was beheaded, as well as a 2004 ferry blast that killed 116 people in Manila.

A manhunt continues for other Abu Sayyaf commanders and two top Indonesian militants who are wanted for their alleged roles in the 2002 nightclub bombings that killed 202 people on Indonesia’s Bali island.

Dulmatin and Umar Patek are key operatives of the Jemaah Islamiyah terror network. Washington has offered a $10 million reward for Dulmatin’s capture and $1 million for Patek.

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