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U.S. Senate votes to double bounty on bin Laden
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12:39, July 14, 2007

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The U.S. Senate voted on Friday to double the bounty to 50 million U.S. dollars on Osama bin Laden, chief of the al-Qaida terrorist organization.

The Senate approved the reward by a vote of 87-1, "for the capture or death or information leading to the capture or death of Osama bin Laden."

The reward needs to be approved by the House and President George W. Bush.

The measure also requires the State and the Defense Departments as well as the director of national intelligence to submit to Congress a report every 90 days on progress towards killing or capturing bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and other terrorist leaders.

Bush vowed shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks that he wanted bin Laden caught, dead or alive, but more than five years later, bin Laden remained at large.

The Washington Post, citing a new administration intelligence report, said Thursday that six years after the Bush administration declared war on al-Qaida, the network was gaining strength and had established a safe haven in remote tribal areas of western Pakistan for training and planning attacks.

The group had significantly rebuilt itself despite concerted U. S. attempts to smash the network, the newspaper reported.

But Bush denied on Thursday that al-Qaida was as strong today as it had been before the Sept. 11 attacks.

"There is a perception in the coverage that al-Qaida may be as strong today as they were prior to September 11th. That's simply not the case," Bush said at a press conference.

Al-Qaida "is weaker today than they would have been" because of the war on terrorism, he insisted.

Source: Xinhua

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