Wednesday, May 31, 2006

INQ7 breaking news

TWO Filipino informers responsible for providing information that led to the arrest of a suspected Muslim terrorist leader walked away from the US Embassy Wednesday morning with a total of 500,000 dollars as their reward.

At a press conference, US Ambassador Kristie Kenney said, “Washington evaluated the information and the importance of information given out.”

Kenney praised the “two very brave patriots for their actions and information,” which led to the arrest of a “vicious terrorist.” “They deserve the reward...This is to encourage citizens to come forward with information that would lead to the arrest of terrorist,” she added. Kenney refused to comment about the background of the two, when asked if they were law enforcers.

The US embassy had said that the two tipsters were responsible for information that led to the arrest of Hilarion del Rosario Santos III, alias Ahmed Santos.

Asked if the reward did not constitute sub judice, Ricardo Blancaflor, undersecretary of the National Security Council, said the reward was not meant to influence the outcome of the still unresolved court case against Santos.

Santos, a founding member of the Rajah Solaiman Movement for Filipino converts to the Muslim faith, was arrested on Oct. 26, 2005 in Santo Nino, Zamboanga City. He allegedly set up a training camp in his family's property in Pangasinan, where an Al-Qaeda suicide cell supposedly trained before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

Blancaflor said the government did not know if Santos had been replaced in the terrorist group.
Santos has also been linked to the Superferry bombing in February 2004 and the simultaneous Valentine's Day bombings last year.

According to the US embassy fact sheet, in the last seven years, the US government's Rewards for Justice Program has paid over 62 million dollars to people who have helped put terrorists behind bars.


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