US President Donald Trump on Saturday confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the son and designated heir of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, was killed in a counter-terrorism operation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Towards the end of July and early August this year, several reports in the US media confirmed the death of the younger Bin Laden citing intelligence officials.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed the death last month, saying it was “his understanding” that Bin Laden was dead, but Trump and other senior officials had not publicly confirmed the news.
Trump in a statement issued by the White House on Saturday said, “Hamza bin Laden, the high-ranking al-Qaeda member and son of Osama bin Laden, was killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region. The loss of Hamza bin Laden not only deprives Al-Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group.”
The statement does not comment on the timing of these operations.
Hamza bin Laden was the 15th child of Osama bin Laden’s 20 children and from his third wife. Hamza is thought to be around 30 years old.
In February this year, the State Department announced a $1 million bounty on his head.
Over the years Hamza has put out several audio and video messages calling for attacks on the United States and other countries, especially to avenge his father’s killing by US forces in Pakistan in May 2011.
Source : Various