The U.S. Navy is ramping up its intelligence efforts as tensions build over Iran’s nuclear program and Tehran’s arming of Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Navy announced that people who voluntarily leak intel to sailors for counterterrorism operations and illicit shipments in the Middle East could receive up to a $100,000 payout for the intel.
The Daily Wire reports:
The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said those individuals who provide information and nonlethal aid that enables officials to seize illicit cargo such as illegal weapons or narcotics could cash out or receive non-monetary rewards like boats, vehicles, or food.
“Any destabilizing activity has our attention,” Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet, told the Associated Press. “Definitely we have seen in the last year skyrocketing success in seizing both illegal narcotics and illicit weapons. This represents another step in our effort to enhance regional maritime security.”
Houthi rebels have threatened 5th Fleet allies in the Red Sea but have not attacked the Navy in the time since. But the 5th Fleet said allies seized $500 million in drugs and 9,000 weapons last year, the Associated Press reports.
Naval forces seek information on “nefarious means of raising money to finance terrorism, including illegal smuggling of materials being utilized to finance individuals or groups, unmanned aerial vehicles, recovered UAS devices or parts, weapon caches, explosives or chemical weapons,” the report reads.
Military officials receiving tips from individuals outside the country will have to go through a vetting process to verify the accuracy of the information before any payment is processed.