The 1984 Act to Combat International Terrorism established (RFJ), the State Department’s counterterrorism rewards program administered by the Diplomatic Security Service. RFJ’s goal is to bring international terrorists to justice and prevent acts of international terrorism against U.S. persons or property.
Under this program, the Secretary of State may authorize rewards for information that:
- Leads to the arrest or conviction of anyone who plans, commits, aids, or attempts international terrorist acts against U.S. persons or property
- Prevents such acts from occurring
- Leads to the identification or location of a key terrorist leader
- Disrupts terrorism financing
The Secretary of State is authorized to pay a reward greater than $25 million if he/she determines that a greater amount is necessary to combat terrorism or to defend the United States against terrorist acts.
To date, RFJ has paid in excess of $150 million to more than 100 people who provided information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide. RFJ played a significant role in the arrest of international terrorist Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
While the law governing the RFJ is aimed at terrorism directed against Americans, the United States shares information with other nations whose citizens may be at risk. Every government and every citizen has a stake in bringing terrorists to justice and in preventing acts of terrorism.