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By Saul Hudson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush's point man for international terrorism policy has quit several months after botching a major report, the most well-known figure known to have resigned since Bush's re-election.

Cofer Black, the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism, caused an embarrassment this year when the administration had to revise a faulty report he oversaw that had been used to argue Bush was winning the war on terrorism.

The report grossly underestimated the number of people who died from international terrorism last year and more than doubled its count of those killed and injured after members of Congress and academics complained of the mistakes.

Black, a former CIA career official and covert operative, told his bosses of his decision well before the election, which Bush won campaigning as a strong leader in the war on terror, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said on Friday.

"He informed the State Department a few weeks ago that the transition period after the election would be the right time for him to explore new professional opportunities," said Ereli.

The resignation was part of an expected flurry of changes for senior officials as Bush's war team could be overhauled for his second term.

Black, who held the counterterrorism post for two years, helped carry out Bush's hard-line policy and was a public face of the war the president declared on terrorism after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In September he drew criticism from Democrats for suggesting the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, could be captured soon.

Despite calls for resignations over the faulty terrorism report, Black retained Secretary of State Colin Powell's support.

Danielle Pletka, of the Washington-based think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, applauded Black for doing what she said was a "brutal job."

"People can make mistakes and still be fundamentally good at their jobs," she said. "It was a report. It's not as if he let (al Qaeda ally Abu Musab) Zarqawi into" America.