Washington, Dec 9: The top US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McCrystal has said that Osama bin Laden must be captured or killed if al-Qaeda is ever going to be defeated.
"I don't think that we can finally defeat al Qaeda until he's captured or killed," The Telegraph quoted Gen McChrystal, as telling a Senate committee.
At the same time, he cautioned that killing or capturing the Saudi-born leader of the group that mounted the Sep 11, 2001 attacks in the United States would not by itself dismantle al-Qaeda.
McChrystal said bin Laden's very existence fanned extremism globally.
"I believe he is an iconic figure at this point, whose-whose survival emboldens al-Qaeda as a franchising organization across the world," he said.