President Donald Trump, on Saturday, said Hamza, son of Osama bin Laden, deceased Al-Qaeda founder, was killed in a counter-terrorism operation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Hamza was reportedly killed sometime in the “last two years” in an operation that involved the US.
In 2017, Hamza, who is the 15th of Osama bin Ladin’s 20 children, was placed on the US terrorist blacklist.
According to FRANCE24, Mark Esper, secretary of defense, reportedly confirmed the death in August, saying it was “his understanding” that Bin Laden was dead, but Trump and other senior officials had not publicly confirmed the news then.
“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 was quoted to have said in a statement issued by the White House.
“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.”
However, the time of the operation was not specified.
In May, the state department had announced a $1 million bounty on Hamza.
The department said Hamza, who was described as “emerging as a leader in the Al-Qaeda franchise”, had put out audio and video messages calling for attacks on the US and other countries, especially to avenge his father’s killing by US forces in Pakistan in May 2011.
Documents seized in the raid on his father’s house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, reportedly suggested Hamza was being groomed as heir to the Al-Qaeda leadership.