Osama Bin Ladens Son Hamza Finally Confirmed Dead By US Officials
PA Images/Associated Press
Osama bin Ladens son, Hamza, has been confirmed dead by US officials.
The White House released a statement on the matter yesterday (September 14), explaining the high-ranking al-Qaida member was killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region.
Osama founded al-Qaeda in the late 1980s and Hamza was widely considered to be a potential successor to his father.
The date of Hamzas death was not included in the statement, and while it has only just been announced there has been speculation the man, believed to have been in his early 30s, died in an airstrike sometime during President Trumps first two years in office, the New York Post report.
Two defence officials spoke to CNN in July about Hamza, reportedly saying the US had a role in his death. The officials, who are said to have had knowledge of the operation, told the news outlet Osamas son had been killed at least several months prior.
While the timeline of Hamzas death is unclear, yesterdays statement was the first time the news was confirmed by the president.
Inbox: Statement from @POTUS acknowledges that Hamza bin Laden, Osama bin Ladens son and high-ranking al Qaeda member, was killed in a US counterterrorism operation in Afghanistan/Pakistan.
This was reported a few weeks back but this is the first official acknowledgment. pic.twitter.com/kvlrfYLCps
— Lara Seligman (@laraseligman) September 14, 2019
Following the announcement, US officials told CNN the administration wanted to make sure it explored all angles and gathered all of the intelligence it could before making the announcement.
Hamza was said to be responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups, and in January 2017 the State Department dubbed him a specially designated global terrorist. This February, officials put a bounty of $1 million on his head.
Al Qaeda released Hamzas last confirmed public statement in March 2018, in which he focused on threats against Saudi Arabia.
#BREAKING: US President Donald Trump confirms death of Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama who was seen as the next heir to al-Qaeda in a US Counter-terror Operation in Afghanistan-Pakistan region. Was Pakistan sheltering him as well? pic.twitter.com/iJVcWFeLh2