— Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida, has evaded capture by the United States for more than a decade. And although his public utterances are few, his capture or death remains a top U.S. priority.
On Tuesday, General Stanley McChrystal acknowledged as much. He told the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that while he doesn’t think it would help defeat al-Qaida if bin Laden were captured or killed, he doesn’t believe the United States can defeat the terrorist organization until he is captured or killed.
Over the past few years, there have been reports of sightings in locations in Pakistan as widespread as Chitral in the north to South Waziristan, a swath of territory equivalent in size to New England and Mid-Atlantic states.
Here’s what we know, based on information from U.S. intelligence sources.