WASHINGTON (CNN) — As part of an intensified effort to capture terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, the State Department is considering doubling the bounty on his head to $50 million, State Department officials said Monday.
Legislation passed in November by Congress as part of the appropriations bill allowed the State Department to double the current $25 million reward for information leading to bin Laden’s capture, under the Rewards for Justice Program.
The program seeks to prevent acts of terrorism against the United States. It pays rewards for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of terrorists attempting to commit or committing acts against U.S. interests.
Bin Laden is still thought to be hiding somewhere along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, but intelligence officials in both countries say there has been no sign of him for the past 20 months, according to Time magazine.
In 2003, the Bush administration paid a $30 million reward — $15 million each for Uday and Qusay Hussein — to the informant who provided the tip that led U.S. troops to the home in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul where Uday and Qusay were hiding. They died there in a firefight with American forces.