US confirms death of Osama bin Laden's son in counter-terrorism operation

White House statement does not say when Hamza was killed or how death was confirmed

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

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

 

Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama, has been killed in a US counter-terrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, White House officials have said.

A statement gives no further details, such as when Hamza bin Laden, who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organisation, was killed or how the US confirmed his death.

Hamza had previously been reported dead in July this year. Two US officials said he had been killed in the previous two years during the Trump administration but that the death had taken time to be confirmed.

The statement says Hamza bin Laden’s death “not only deprives al Qaida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group”.

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.

US Navy SEALs killed Osama in a raid on a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011. – AP