01 Aug 2019
Osama bin Laden's son Hamza is dead, say US officials
Deceased terrorist Osama bin Laden's son Hamza, seen widely as the heir of al Qaeda, is dead, US media said on Wednesday.
Without informing about a date or place, three US officials familiar with this development told NBC News that Hamza has died.
However, the aforementioned officials didn't reveal whether the US had a role to play in his death or not.
Hamza may have died before US announced bounty
Subsequently, NYT said Hamza is believed to have been killed during the last two years, in an operation which involved the US.
Reports suggested Hamza died way before the US State Department announced a bounty of $1 million on him, in February 2019.
When President Donald Trump was asked about these reports, he replied, "I don't want to comment on it."
US was convinced Hamza got training to succeed Osama
Hamza, believed to be in his 30s, was being trained by Osama to be his successor. To recall, Osama, who engineered the 9/11 attacks, was killed by US Navy Seal in 2011.
Documents which were discovered from Osama's Abbottabad home in Pakistan hinted that Hamza was married to the daughter of a senior al Qaeda leader.
Hamza is the 15th of Osama's 20 children.
No one really knows where Hamza lived
Interestingly, Hamza's exact location was never pinpointed. It was widely reported that he might have been under house arrest in Iran, but there were also speculations that he might have moved to Syria or Afghanistan.
Hamza's last known public statement was released by al Qaeda's media wing in 2018.
Threatening Saudi Arabia, Hamza had urged people of Arabian peninsula "to revolt".
Years ago, Hamza spoke about "liberalization of Palestine"
Meanwhile, in a 2016 message, Hamza urged ISIS and other terrorists of Syria to "unite". He had said that the happenings in the war-torn country, pave way for "liberalization of Palestine".
"There is no longer an excuse for those who insist on division and disputes now that the whole world has mobilized against Muslims," he had reportedly said in the message.
Hamza worked closely with Osama, wanted to avenge his death
Announcing the reward on Hamza's head, the US State Department noted that he had been calling for attacks on the US and other countries to "avenge his father's death".
The department called him an emerging leader in the al Qaeda franchise.
To note, Hamza closely worked with Osama before 9/11, learned how to handle weapons, and often ranted against Americans, Jews and "Crusaders".
Former FBI agent once explained how dangerous Hamza was
In September 2017, counterterror expert and former FBI agent Ali Soufan had spoken about the threat Hamza poses. He had said, "With the Islamic State's 'caliphate' apparently on the verge of collapse, Hamza is now the figure best placed to reunify the global jihadi movement."
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