Osama bin Laden's son killed in US counter-terrorism operation: Trump
On Saturday, United States President Donald Trump said that Hamza bin Laden, the son of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was killed in a US counter-terrorism operation. Reportedly, Hamza was expected to succeed his father as the leader of the al-Qaeda. In a statement, the White House clarified that the operation went down in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region. Here are more details.
In the statement, President Trump said, "The loss of Hamza bin Ladin not only deprives al-Qa'ida of important leadership kills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group (sic)." He added, "Hamza bin Ladin was responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups." However, he didn't reveal the time period of the operation or the death.
In his last known public message, released by al-Qaeda in 2018, Hamza had threatened Saudi Arabia and urged the people of the Arabian peninsula to revolt. Hamza was stripped of his Saudi Arabian citizenship in March this year. Earlier this year, the US State Department called Hamza an "emerging" al-Qaeda leader and offered a million-dollar reward for information on him in February.
Last month, US media had reported that Hamza, was killed some time in the last two years, citing US intelligence sources. Reports even suggested that Hamza was killed before the bounty on him was announced in February. However, President Trump and other senior officials refused to offer clarification. Later last month, the US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper had also confirmed Hamza's death.
Hamza was the 15th child of Osama's 20 children from his third wife and was being trained by his father to be his successor. Dubbed the "crown prince of jihad," Hamza was married to a senior al-Qaeda leader's daughter, as per documents discovered from Osama's Abbottabad home in Pakistan. The wedding is believed to have taken place in Iran.
Hamza had issued threats against the United States and other countries to avenge the death of his father, the US State Department had revealed while announcing the bounty on his head. Osama bin Laden had taken responsibility for the tragic 9/11 attacks and was killed by US forces in Pakistan in May 2011. Reportedly, Hamza and Osama worked closely before 9/11 for weapons training.