The U.S. Senate is urging President Bush to raise the reward for Osama bin Laden's capture or death to $50 million, in the hope this will persuade one of the terrorist leader's associates to turn him in.

Lawmakers voted nearly unanimously, 87-1, Friday to double the existing $25 million reward, and they also asked the White House to provide regular updates on what the U.S. is doing to track down bin Laden.

The Senate's action must also be approved by the House of Representatives and then by the president, whose aides have not commented on the issue.

Much of official Washington has been involved this week in debate over reports suggesting that bin Laden's organization has regained much of its strength, despite six years of U.S. operations against the al-Qaida terror network.

Mr. Bush says al-Qaida remains a threat to the United States and others, but he contends the terror group is weaker now than it was before its attacks on New York and Washington in 2001.

Democratic lawmakers and opponents of administration policies argue that the United States' involvement in Iraq has weakened the focus of its global war on terror.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.