$50 millions for bin Laden

The United States House of Representatives has voted unanimously to double a reward for the capture of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

It now stands at $US50 million.

The increase comes as efforts to capture bin Laden have been stepped up both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The doubling of the reward was passed as part of legislation increasing funds available to the US State Department for the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

It gives the State Department considerable leeway in offering rewards in the form of cash, cars or household appliances.

The measure is yet to be approved by the Senate, inform &to=http://www.abc.net.au' target=_blank>ABC

The move came in connection with a broader bill to expand the State Department's anti-terrorist rewards program to provide cash and other benefits to those helping authorities track down drug traffickers who support terrorist activities.

The bill, passed 414-0, now goes to the Senate. Rep. Katherine Harris, a Florida Republican, said it recognizes the growing link between the drug trade and the financing and support of terrorist activities.

Outside of bin Laden, the legislation amends a 1956 law to raise the maximum amount of terrorist and narco-terrorist rewards from $5 million to $25 million.

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