Osama bin Laden famously had a $25m bounty for action or information leading to his killing or capture. Was this ever paid out following his killing in May 2011? If not, how was the money budgeted for the bounty used?

  • 1
    Well, there is a $25m bounty on Bin Laden's successor Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Might be the same money? Nevertheless, the U.S. State Department has not run out of people to place bounties on just yet.
    – Nathan
    Dec 27, 2014 at 1:21

2 Answers 2



"No one will receive the $25 million reward for the capture of Osama bin Laden, say U.S. officials, because the raid that killed the al Qaeda leader in Pakistan on May 2 was the result of electronic intelligence, not human informants."

I suppose the US considers it's electronic surveillance and an operational mistake by Al-Qaeda to be key. Apparently no human intelligence was enough like "there he is, where's my money" (there may be a technical term for that) to warrant payment.

U.S. Will Not Pay $25 Million Osama Bin Laden Reward, Say Officials

As to what they will use it for. Either it's more money for the State Department, or (and I think this is more likely) less federal spending.

  • 2
    Less Federal spending? Pretty sure that's exactly the opposite of how Federal budgets work. The money will be spent elsewhere as a strong general rule, lest the organization's budget be reduced next year.
    – Smithers
    Dec 27, 2014 at 21:25

My understanding is that the CIA publicly acknowledged that the doctor Shakeel Afridi had informed them of Bin Laden’s whereabouts. Afridi was subsequently sentenced to a long prison sentence for “treason” against Pakistan. Surely he has a claim to the 25 million dollars.

  • Anything wrong with this?
    – fdb
    Dec 28, 2014 at 16:23
  • 2
    Other than it doesn't answer the question asked? (I did not down vote it, btw.)
    – CGCampbell
    Dec 28, 2014 at 22:47
  • 2
    Unsourced opinion.
    – MCW
    Jan 4, 2015 at 4:27

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