U.S. expects to reward Iraqi informant
Tipster who led to Saddam's sons likely to get $30 million
From Elise Labott
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration expects to pay the full $30 million reward to the informant who provided the tip that led U.S. troops to the home where Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, were hiding, a senior State Department official said Friday.
"We would expect to pay the whole reward," the official said.
The reward will be provided through the State Department's Reward for Justice Program, which seeks to prevent acts of terrorism against the United States, and pays rewards for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of terrorists attempting or committing acts against U.S. interests.
To date the program has paid close to $10 million to 24 people who have provided information leading to the arrests of terrorism suspects or prevented attacks.
Uday and Qusay were killed Tuesday during a six-hour gunbattle with U.S. troops. They were barricaded inside a home in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. An informant gave U.S. troops information about their location Monday night, U.S. officials said.
The Bush administration has offered up to $25 million for information leading to the arrest of their father, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, or for proof he is dead.
The bounty for information on Uday and Qusay was $15 million each.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Friday that the State Department is waiting for information from the Pentagon about the informant in order to process the award.
"We're working with them to get that information so that we can go through this process as quickly as possible," he said. "We want to make this happen quickly."
According to other State Department officials, the Pentagon has told the Reward for Justice administrators of its intention to nominate a person for the reward, but has yet to submit a name.
Once the State Department receives the nomination, an interagency committee of State, Justice, Homeland Security, National Security Council, CIA, Defense Department and FBI officials will review the information and make a recommendation to Secretary of State Colin Powell, who will decide the size of the reward.
The official said he expected the committee to approve the nomination.
"We're prepared to move pretty quickly on this," the official said.
The director of the U.S.-led reconstruction effort in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, said Thursday at a Defense Department briefing that the informant "is safe," in response to a reporter's question of whether the informant is in protective custody.
According to the State Department's Reward for Justice Web site, the program can provide for the "relocation" of informants and their families.
When asked if the informant might be able to emigrate to the United States, the senior State Department official said, "I'm sure that all that will be considered if it's appropriate."