The Saudi double agent that disrupted an Al-Qaeda plot to bomb a U.S. bound airliner could be eligible for tens of millions of dollars in rewards from the State Department's Rewards for Justice Program, a State Department spokesman told CBS News.
An individual could receive up to a $25 million reward for information that prevented a terrorist attack. In addition, they could be eligible for a $5 million reward for providing information that led to the drone attack that killed Ahmed al-Quso.
At issue would be the employment status of the individual involved. Employees of foreign governments are not usually eligible for rewards if they provide information that was obtained in the course of their official duties. To be eligible for a reward payment, the individual would need to be nominated by a U.S. agency handling the case or a U.S. Embassy.
Since it was established in 1984, the Rewards for Justice program has paid more than $100 million to more than 70 people who provided tips that prevented terrorist attacks or led to the convictions of those involved.
"RFJ [Rewards for Justice] is one of many tools that our government uses to fight terrorism, but it has proven to be an effective tool over the years" Robert Hartung, Assistant Director for Diplomatic Security's Threat Investigations and Analysis Directorate told CBS News in a statement, adding that the program "... has helped to save countless innocent lives."
The largest payment to date was a $30 million award to a single individual who provided information that led to the whereabouts Uday and Qusay Hussein. Reward campaigns also lead to the apprehension of terrorists including Ramzi Yousef, who planned the 1993 truck bombing at the World Trade Center and Mir Aimal Kansi, who murdered two CIA employees, according to the State Department.
A 2011 audit disclosed that State Department reward programs- which include Rewards for Justice as well as two other programs for narco-trafficking and war crimes tribunals- paid $10,857,050 in FY2008 and $9,494,643 in FY2009 respectively.