Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden will not be tried in a US courtroom because he won't be caught alive, a top US law enforcement official said.
Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday appeared before a congressional committee for budget testimony but was forced to defend the Obama administration's plan to put some terrorist suspects on trial in civilian courts rather than military commissions at Guantanamo Bay.
Holder rejected charges by Republicans that the policy would make it possible for bin Laden to enjoy the same constitutional rights as US citizens.
"We will be reading Miranda rights to a corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom," Holder responded, referring to the rights read by police while conducting arrests.
He said that bin Laden "will be killed by us, or he will be killed by his own people".
Bin Laden has been on the run since the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, believed to be hiding along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan.
Former president George W Bush had once famously said he wanted bin Laden "dead or alive", and President Barack Obama has vowed to intensify the effort to capture or kill the Al-Qaeda figurehead.