So, it seems that the administration is attempting to de-legitimize Al Qaeda in Iraq, or at least its leadership, through the quiet action of reducing the bounty on his head.
Navy Capt. Jamie Graybeal, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said the military considers intelligence and other factors on a recurring basis to re-evaluate the reward levels for those on wanted lists, at times adjusting up or down the dollar values it has placed on individuals.
The current assessment on al-Masri is that he is not as valuable as he used to be, Graybeal said.
“The value of this guy is not what it was, say, at this time last year,” he said in a telephone interview from the command’s headquarters in Tampa, Fla.
“Our assessment has led us to believe he’s not as effective a leader on the battlefield … and because of that he’s just not as valuable to us,” Graybeal said.