US President Donald Trump has confirmed that the son of Osama Bin Laden, Hamza, was killed in a US “counterterrorism operation.” The death of Bin Laden’s possible successor was reported earlier this year.
“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,” said a statement from Trump’s office sent to journalists on Saturday.
The death of Hamza has deprived Al-Qaeda of his “important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father.” Within Al-Qaeda, Bin Laden’s son was “responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups,” it added.
Hamza Bin Laden’s death in an airstrike was first reported late in July. Back then, Trump said that the man was “very threatening” to the US, but declined to provide any further details. With the official confirmation of Hamza’s death, however, it still remains unclear when – and where – the US operation took place exactly.
Hamza made his last known public statement through an Al-Qaeda propaganda mouthpiece in 2018, threatening Saudi Arabia with terrorist attacks and calling for the Saudi monarchy to be overthrown. Son of the 9/11 attacks mastermind, born around 1989 in Jeddah, has long been wanted by the FBI, which offered up to $1 million for information on his whereabouts.
According to media reports, Hamza was born to the daughter of another senior Al-Qaeda member, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, known under his alias Abu Muhammad al Masri. The man is wanted for his alleged role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.