US Offers $25m Reward for Bin Laden
The United States is offering a $25-million reward for information leading to the apprehension of wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden, and Secretary of State Colin Powell voiced hope Sunday that the cash could yield results.
"Twenty-five million dollars is a great deal of money, and I feel there might be somebody so motivated" in Afghanistan who could supply the United States with the necessary information in exchange for the money, Powell told NBC television.
The announcement of the reward was contained in a detailed breakdown, published by the White House on Friday, of the allocation of $5.1 billion in emergency funds authorized by President George W. Bush in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
That breakdown said that the State Department would receive emergency funds totaling $48.9 million, and "approximately half of these funds will be used to provide rewards for information to help apprehend terrorists."
The nearly $25 million in fresh reward money comes on top of an earlier five-million-dollar reward offered by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1999 for information leading to the arrest of bin Laden following bomb attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The United States has designated bin Laden as the prime suspect behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and has demanded that the rulers of Afghanistan, where bin Laden has lived as a "guest," hand him over immediately.
A spokesman for Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia, however, repeated Sunday a claim that bin Laden's whereabouts were not known to the Taliban, which has in any case stated that it would not hand him over to the United States if it had him -- WASHINGTON (AFP)
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