US President Donald Trump on Saturday confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the son and designated inheritor of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, was killed in a counter-terrorism operation alongside the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
US media reported in late July and early August, citing intelligence officers, that the youthful Bin Laden had been killed someday within the final two years in an operation that concerned the USA.
Secretary of Protection Mark Esper confirmed the demise final month, saying it was “his understanding” that Bin Laden was useless, however Trump and different senior officers had not publicly confirmed the information.
“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,” Trump mentioned in a quick assertion issued by the White Home.
“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 assertion didn’t specify the timing of the operation.
The 15th of Osama bin Laden’s 20 youngsters and a son of his third spouse, Hamza, considered about 30 years outdated, was “emerging as a leader in the Al-Qaeda franchise,” the State Division mentioned in asserting a $1 million bounty on his head in February 2019 – maybe after his precise demise.
Sometimes dubbed the “crown prince of jihad,” he had put out audio and video messages calling for assaults on the USA and different international locations, particularly to avenge his father’s killing by US forces in Pakistan in Could 2011, the division mentioned.
That work made him necessary in attracting a brand new era of followers to the extremist group that carried out the September 11, 2001 assaults on the USA, which left practically three,000 useless.
Osama bin Laden’s demise and the rise of the extra virulent Islamic State group noticed Al-Qaeda lose forex with youthful jihadists.
However the proliferation of branches and related jihadist teams in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere have underscored its persevering with efficiency.
Paperwork seized within the raid on his father’s home in Abbottabad, Pakistan advised Hamza was being groomed as inheritor to the Al-Qaeda management.
US forces additionally discovered a video of Hamza’s wedding ceremony to the daughter of one other senior Al-Qaeda official that’s believed to have taken place in Iran.
In 2017, Hamza was positioned on the US terror blacklist, seen as a potent future figurehead for the group then led by Ayman al-Zawahiri.