BANGKOK, Thailand – The United States has given Thailand $10 million in gratitude for its help in the arrest of Asia's top terrorist suspect, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (search) said Wednesday.
Hambali (search), an Indonesian whose real name is Riduan Isamuddin, is accused of masterminding last year's nightclub blasts that killed 202 people on the Indonesian island of Bali and other bombings. He is the alleged operations chief of Jemaah Islamiyah (search), a Southeast Asian terrorist network with links to Al Qaeda (search).
Shortly after his Aug. 11 capture, President Bush called Hambali "one of the world's most lethal terrorists."
Hambali was seized in the ancient temple city of Ayutthaya, 50 miles north of Bangkok, by Thai forces and the CIA. He was handed over to U.S. authorities three days later and flown to an undisclosed location for interrogation.
"The U.S. government has already given us $10 million for help in the arrest of Hambali, and we will allocate this fairly to the agencies concerned," Thaksin told reporters.
He said the money would be split among the National Security Council, the Military Security Center, the Special Branch Police and local police who helped in the arrest.
Earlier, reports surfaced in Bangkok that Washington had offered a $4 million bounty for Hambali's capture but this was never confirmed by American authorities.
Thaksin did not say when the Americans gave the money but a Thai government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was presented after a 50-person U.S. security team arrived Tuesday as part of security arrangements for Bush's Oct. 20-21 visit to Thailand.