December 8th, 2009
05:56 PM ET

McChrystal: Bin Laden survival emboldens al Qaeda

Finding Osama bin Laden would not mean the end of al Qaeda, but it would be a key step to eventually defeating al Qaeda, the commander in charge of Afghanistan told Congress on Tuesday.

“I believe he is an iconic figure at this point, whose survival emboldens al Qaeda as a franchising organization across the world," Gen. Stanley McChrystal told the Senate Armed Services Committee.  "It would not defeat al Qaeda to have him captured or killed, but I don't think that we can finally defeat al Qaeda until he's captured or killed."

The trail of the al Qaeda mastermind behind the September 11 attacks has grown cold.  The Secretary of Defense told NBC News he has not seen any credible intelligence about bin Laden since he took over at the helm of the Pentagon almost three years ago. 

Bin Laden, the world's most wanted terrorist, is believed to be hiding in the mountains on the Pakistan side of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.  McChrystal said that bin Laden is not a major occupation for the U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

"I am responsible as commander of ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] for inside Afghanistan. Were Osama bin Laden to come in there, of course, that would become a huge priority for all of our forces," McChrystal said. But he said if bin Laden is not in Afghanistan, it "is outside of my mandate right now."

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Esme Fisher

    Franchising business is good but some franchise needs some cold hard capital to start with.'`,

    July 19, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Liam Price

    the franchising business is actually good specially if the product for franchise is well known.:~.

    June 17, 2010 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Stacey

    Osama Bin Ladin Is A Coward and he is probably hiding in hole somewhere in Pakistan.
    Now is the time to make the Taliban surrender and caugh up Osama Bin Ladin.
    If they continue to resist and hold him, pound them untill they do.
    No one man is worth a whole group of people dying over.
    Osama Bin Ladin is the cause for this war.
    He is the cause of the Taliban being killed as well as the people of Afganistan.
    Pay the Afgan forces to fight with the US.
    Let the members of Al Qieda know that their website's ip address can be traced.
    I heard that Osama has kidney problems.
    Who and where is he getting his medicine and treatment from.
    All that can be traced too.
    They have to be completely sick of war and Osama Bin Ladin.
    Tell them that they need to give him up or else its bombs away.

    December 9, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. nathan

    maybe pakistani forces will find him! lol

    December 9, 2009 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. norm

    Saying Afghanistan, Iraq,etc. isn't Vietnam doesn't make it so.

    December 9, 2009 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. manuel schonhorn

    Another and more important question is: How much billions do we "pay" the Taliban and the clan chiefs to keep our supplies safe and moving to our soldiers? The corruption question and the cronyism of the Pakistani administration has yet to be fully addressed and understood. How many jobs in America, might be another question, how many doctors could be trained, how many parks could be built, if those wasted corruption dollars were spent here in the U S of A?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |

    Osama bin, It's never too late to admit mistakes but if you have no remorse for your 9/11 action, we'll sock it to you! It's just a matter of time! Just watch!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |