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White House: No one receiving reward money for finding Osama bin Laden

Jay Carney
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Monday that no one would receive the federal government's $25 million reward money for finding Osama bin Laden because no one intentionally directed U.S. intelligence officials to the al Qaeda leader.

In a press briefing on Monday, Carney said "as far as I'm aware, no one knowledgeably said, 'Oh, Osama bin Laden's over here in Abbottabad at 5703, you know, Green Avenue.'"

Carney said that the reward isn't given if someone "accidentally" provides the necessary information through the intelligence gathering process.

In 2001, the State Department offered a $25 million reward for information about bin Laden's whereabouts. In 2004, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton pushed for the passage of a bill that would allow the Secretary of State - the position she now holds - to authorize as much as $50 million as a prize.

At least one man has already begun angling for the prize money: Gary Brooks Faulkner, a 51-year-old American who was detained last year in Pakistan while setting out on a "lone wolf" mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden.

""I got off my ass. I got the son of a bitch out. He's dead now," Faulkner said in a recent interview with WLS Radio. "Whether it was by my hands or something else...You still realize that we lost total contact after he left Tora Bora. Nobody knew anything. He's in Pakistan, he's in Africa, he's in Somalia...he's everywhere else. People did nothing, absolutely nothing until I came on the scene, and that's a fact."

New York lawmakers have suggested that the money instead go to survivors of 9/11, as well as the families of victims.

Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation on Sunday proposing to direct the bounty to those directly affected by the attacks.

"If the bounty isn't paid, Osama bin Laden's victims should get it," Weiner said, according to Politico.

The money, Nadler added, "was allocated for 9/11 victims in effect, and this is simply, saying use it more effectively for the purpose that it was set up in the first place."