FBI, State Dept. Dangle $5 Million Rewards in Hunt for Top Terrorists

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The FBI is baiting its hooks with up to $5 million in reward money, hoping to land two of the biggest fish in international terrorism.

The jumbo rewards are for tips leading to the arrest of Mohammed Ali Hamadei, wanted for the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, during which a U.S. Navy diver was executed and his body dumbed on the tarmac; and Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shallah, founder of the Palestinia Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a terrorist front with headquarters in Damascus, Syria.

FBI officials said Shallah directly planned and carried out numerous bombings, murders, extortions and racketeering crimes.

Hamadei and Shallah join a list of 21 other top terror suspects, each with a reward on his head of $5 million, except Usama bin Landen, whose bounty is worth $25 million.

Since its inception in 1984, the FBI says the State-Department funded "Rewards for Justice" program has $62 million to more than 40 people for credible information that has brought terrorists to justice or prevented acts of international terrorism. It’s a small price to pay to make the world safer.

Hamadei, 42, is believed to be hiding in Lebanon, and is working as a Hezbollah operative. The irony in the FBI's reward for him is that he served a 19-year prison term in Germany for trying to smuggle explosives into the country. He was released in 2005, despite protests by the U.S. government.

Shallah, 49, is "secretary general" of the PIJ, which has the stated goal of the destruction of Israel and creation of an Islamic Palestinian state. Shallah is believed to be living in Damascus.