New York state's top legal officer will issue subpoenas on Thursday to American International Group Inc over credit default swaps (CDS) contracts, a source familiar with the matter said.

No details were immediately provided on New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo seeking the information on CDS, a financial instrument for swapping the risk of debt default.

Cuomo's office has been pressing AIG for details of $165 million paid in retention bonuses to executives, even as the company was kept afloat by nearly $180 billion in U.S. taxpayer money.

The CDS have been blamed for part of the giant insurer AIG's troubles.

A spokesman for AIG was not immediately available to comment.

The Wall Street Journal reported on its website that Cuomo is subpoenaing the information as part of an effort to assess AIG's claims the firm needed the expertise of employees to unwind certain contracts.

(Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Andre Grenon)