Osama Bin Laden’s son Hamza reported dead by US officials

Heir to former al-Qaeda said to have died in past two years in unknown circumstances

Hamza bin Laden pictured at his wedding. Photograph:  Associated Press

Hamza bin Laden pictured at his wedding. Photograph: Associated Press

 

Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden, who was long viewed as heir to the leadership of al-Qaeda, is dead, according to two American officials.

Hamza bin Laden, who had repeatedly threatened to attack the United States was killed in the past two years during the Trump administration, but it took time to confirm his death, the officials said.

In February, the US State Department announced a $1 million reward for information about his whereabouts. However, by then, Hamza bin Laden, who was believed to be aged about 30, had been killed — but his death had not yet been confirmed by the military and intelligence agencies.

The United States government had a role in the operation that killed him, but it is not clear precisely what that role was.

Details, including where it happened, are scarce.

The officials discussed his death on the condition of anonymity because it involved sensitive operations and intelligence gathering.

The location of bin Laden had been the subject of public speculation.

After the September 11th, 2001, attacks, members of al-Qaeda, including Hamza bin Laden, fled to Iran, where they were detained.

Since then, Hamza bin Laden had been reported to be in the Afghanistan and Pakistan border region, as well as in Syria, analysts and former officials have said.

President Donald Trump was asked Wednesday about the death, first reported by NBC News, but he declined to comment.

After the 2011 death of Osama bin Laden in a US raid in Pakistan, Hamza bin Laden was being groomed for the top leadership role in al-Qaeda by two of his father’s top lieutenants. He married a daughter of one of them.

Hamza, the son of Khairiah Sabar of Saudi Arabia, one of bin Laden’s three wives, was thought to be under house arrest in Iran at the time of his father’s death and documents recovered from the compound indicated that aides had been trying to reunite him with his father.

Hamza’s older brother Saad was killed in a 2009 US drone strike – New York Times/Reuters