Hamza Bin Laden Is Dead: Reports
Hamza bin Laden, the son and rumoured heir to deceased al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, is dead, according to intelligence reportedly obtained by the United States.
Earlier on Wednesday, NBC reported that three US officials had confirmed they had information of Hamza bin Laden’s death, but gave no details of the date or place, and did not indicate if they had confirmed the information.
The New York Times also reported that the US had a role in the operation that led to Hamza’s death, which it said took place in the past two years.
Questioned by reporters in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump did not confirm or deny the report. “I don’t want to comment on it,” he said.
Separately, the White House declined to comment on whether any announcement was imminent.
Hamza called on the people of the Arabian Peninsula to revolt in his last public statements released by the terror group’s media arm last year, which also included threats to Saudi Arabia.
The country stripped him of his citizenship in March, when the US State Department announced a reward of up to $1m for information leading “to the identification or location in any country” of Hamza, calling him a key al Qaeda leader.
Hamza, believed to be about 30 years old, was at his father’s side in Afghanistan before the September 11 attacks and spent time with him in Pakistan after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan pushed much of al Qaeda’s senior leadership there, according to the Brookings Institution.
Introduced by the organisation’s new chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in an audio message in 2015, Hamza provided a younger voice for the group whose ageing leaders have struggled to inspire militants around the world galvanized by Isis, analysts said.
He called for acts of terrorism in western capitals and threatened to take revenge against the United States for his father’s killing, the State Department said in 2017 when it designated him as a global terrorist.
He also threatened to target Americans abroad and urged Saudi tribes to unite with Yemen’s al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to fight against Saudi Arabia, it said.