Osama Bin Laden's Death: $25 Million Reward Likely to Remain Secret Forever

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Reward for Bin Laden Capture: Committee Debates Value of Information

The Interagency Rewards Committee makes a recommendation of the worth of the information to the Secretary of State, who may consult with the Attorney General, Edwards said. In other words, if a U.S. investigative agency, such as the Department of State, FBI, or Defense Department nominates an individual for providing information that led to the capture of bin Laden, that individual will not automatically receive the maximum $25 million, if anything.

So don't call it a bounty.

"The Rewards for Justice pays rewards for information," Edwards said. "It does not pay bounties. In fact, the Department of State strongly discourages bounty hunters and other non-governmental individuals from pursuing the capture of terrorists."

Another reward for bin Laden's capture is $2 million offered by the Air Transport Association (ATA) and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). The State Department started that reward in 1990 after the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, in which a bomb killed 243 passengers and 16 crew members on Pam Am Flight 103 flying over Scotland from London to New York.

The ATA, which describes itself as the nation's oldest and largest airline trade association, agreed to participate in 1990 in the program. It can contribute up to $1 million if requested by the State Department. The organization paid once in 1991 for $100,000 related to a foiled plot in Thailand, according to a source at the ATA.

ALPA, which calls itself the largest airline pilots' union in the world, also agreed to participate by matching a reward approved by the State Department up to $1 million if requested.

The State Department has not yet contacted the ATA or APLA to contribute to the reward for bin Laden, according to the ATA and ALPA.

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