Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza is dead, White House confirms

A file video grab released by the CIA November 1, 2017 shows an image of Hamza Bin Laden. — Federation For Defence Of Democracies handout pic via AFP
A file video grab released by the CIA November 1, 2017 shows an image of Hamza Bin Laden. — Federation For Defence Of Democracies handout pic via AFP

WASHINGTON, Sept 14 — Hamza bin Laden, a son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and himself a notable figure in the militant group, was killed in a US counter-terrorism operation, the White House said today.

A White House statement said the operation took place in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

“The loss of Hamza bin Ladin not only deprives al-Qa’ida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group,” the statement said.

Hamza, believed to be about 30 years old, was at his father’s side in Afghanistan before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. He also spent time with his father in Pakistan after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan pushed much of al Qaeda’s senior leadership there, according to the Brookings Institution.

The US State Department designated Hamza a global terrorist in 2017 after he called for acts of terrorism in Western capitals and threatened to take revenge against the United States for killing his father.

Reuters reported on July 31 that Hamza had been killed, citing a US official with knowledge of the matter. But Saturday’s statement represents the first time the US government has confirmed the operation. — Reuters

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