Who Snagged the $27M Reward for bin Laden?

Probably no one, but we may never know
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2011 11:29 AM CDT
An image of Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, who appears at the top of the newly released list of the FBI's Most Wanted October 10, 2001 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Until Sunday, Osama bin Laden topped the FBI's most-wanted list—and there was a sizable reward offered for information leading to his capture. The State Department offered $25 million, with two air travel associations adding an additional $1 million each. So did anyone collect? Annie Lowrey explains on Slate that there's no way of knowing, but it appears unlikely. The State Department normally likes to boast when it doles out rewards so that more people will be encouraged to turn criminals in. But this time, NPR notes, Hillary Clinton refused to comment on the matter. And we already know many of the key tips came from detainees, none of whom would receive a payout.

The rewards program has worked well, proving to be integral to the captures of Saddam Hussein's sons and the 1993 World Trade Center bomber, among others. A spokesperson confirms that bin Laden's reward is no longer available since he's dead, but she would not say whether anyone snagged the reward or a portion of it. Someone might still be in the running for it—perhaps a wary local suspicious of bin Laden's $1 million compound—but from what we know so far, Lowrey writes, it appears "this time the United States got the bad guy the old-fashioned way."

My Take on This Story