Give Osama bounty to 9/11 victims, say lawmakers

May 10th, 2011 - 11:12 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 10 (IANS/EFE) Two Democratic lawmakers representing New York City say the $50 million reward offered for Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US commandos in Pakistan, should go to groups that aid people hurt or killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The proposal would apply only if US authorities conclude that no one is entitled to the reward, Reps. Anthony Weiner and Jerrold Nadler said.

“If the bounty isn’t paid, Osama bin Laden’s victims should get it,” Weiner said.

“I can think of no better recipient than those organisations which have committed themselves to helping first responders, their families and survivors whose lives have been forever affected by bin Laden’s actions,” he said.

The State Department initially offered up to $25 million for information leading to the capture of the Al Qaeda leader, but Congress subsequently authorized the payment of as much as twice that amount.

Given the large number of government agencies and individuals whose contributions helped enable the successful May 2 raid Osama’s compound in Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will probably decide against designating a recipient, State Department sources told EFE.

Some of those who provided leads on Osama’s whereabouts are terror suspects in US custody, the sources pointed out.

“I urge the State Department to distribute the reward money to established organizations and institutions which provide services and programs to the 9/11 community,” Nadler said.

The two New York lawmakers said they will await the State Department’s determination on the reward before deciding if and when to submit a bill in Congress.

Families of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks on New York and Washington have already shared roughly $2.1 billion in government compensation, while survivors received a total of $8.6 billion.

–IANS/EFE
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