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FSB to Start Paying Informers

The Federal Security Service plans to start offering cash rewards for tips about terrorists, although it has not decided how much money it might hand out.

The FSB said it would pay for the passport data or residential addresses of terrorists, as well any information that could lead to the prevention of attacks and arrests of terrorists.

The rewards will only be paid “if sufficient budgetary funds are available,” according to a draft order published on the FSB's web site last week.

The document was signed by FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov, but an accompanying statement noted that it had to be approved by several other federal agencies before coming into effect.

It was unclear Monday when the order was supposed to be implemented. Repeated calls to the FSB's press office went unanswered.

The FSB said in March 2005 that it had paid a $10 million reward for information on the whereabouts of Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov, who was killed by its commandos earlier that month.

It also promised to pay $10 million for the capture of warlord Shamil Basayev in March 2005. Basayev was killed by security forces in an explosion in Ingushetia in July 2006, but it remains unclear whether anyone collected the bounty.

Cash rewards for informants who provide information about terrorists were legalized by anti-terrorist legislation that took effect in March 2006. But the law failed to specify all the prerequisite legal procedures and requirements, which the FSB order says it aims to do.

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