General: Bin Laden is key to defeating al-Qaida

AP News
Posted: Dec 08, 2009 3:00 PM

The general in charge of the war in Afghanistan says capturing Osama bin Laden is the ultimate key to defeating the al-Qaida terror network.

General Stanley McChrystal told Congress on Tuesday that bin Laden is an "iconic figure" whose very survival eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks serves as a recruiting tool for al-Qaida. U.S. intelligence officials believe bin Laden is in hiding in Pakistan, along that country's rugged border with Afghanistan.

McChrystal says finding bin Laden isn't the key to winning the war in Afghanistan. But he says he does not think that the United States will defeat the terror network outright until bin Laden is found and brought to justice.