Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza is dead: Reports

Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza is dead: Reports

Agency News

Oamza bin Laden, son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, is dead, NBC News reported on Wednesday. Three US officials confirmed Hamza's death to NBC TV Channel while another report says he died in the last two years.

NBC TV Channel also categorically said that the Intelligence officials in the United States have received information that al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden's son Hamza has died. But still the US has not officially confirmed the death. US had announced in February 2019 a $1 million bounty for those who capture Hamza bin Laden.

Meanwhile, the New York Times newspaper also reported that the US had a role in the operation that led to Hamza's death, which it said took place two years back.

Till now, President Donald Trump did not confirm or deny the report to a media query. "I don't want to comment on it," he said. Separately, the White House also rejected the query saying that a comment on the issue was not imminent.

The three officials did not provide details of where or when Hamza bin Laden died or if the US played a role in his death, NBC news reported. In his last known public statement in 2018, which was released by al Qaeda's media arm, he threatened Saudi Arabia and called on the people of the Arabian peninsula to revolt.

According to the international body, Hamza bin Laden had been given a prominent role in al Qaeda, the group behind the September 11 attacks. US Navy SEALS killed Osama bin Laden, who led al Qaeda, in 2011 during a raid on his Pakistan compound, Abbottabad. Hamza had escaped the attack in which his father and brother Khalid were killed.

Hamza, 29, was the son of Khairiah Sabar of Saudi Arabia, one of bin Laden's three wives who were living in the Abbottabad compound. Interrogation of the surviving wives of Osama bin Laden by Pakistani intelligence after the raid on the Abbottabad compound revealed Hamza was the only person missing. He was not among those killed or injured.

In a letter confiscated in the raid, written by bin Laden and addressed to his "Chief of Staff" Atiyah Abd al-Rahman revealed that Hamza was not captured or killed during the raid because he was not even present in Abbottabad. Letters from the compound also confirmed that Osama was apparently grooming Hamza to be his heir, following the death of Hamza's older brother Saad in a 2009 US drone strike.

Hamza bin Laden was implicated in the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In July 2016, media reported that he had issued an audio message threatening the United States in revenge for his father's death.

In the light of his growing influence within al-Qaeda, the United States classified Hamza bin Laden as Specially Designated Global Terrorist in January 2017. This effectively put him on a blacklist aimed at restricting his movement and economic abilities.