Trump confirms death of Al-Qaeda heir Hamza bin Laden

Trump confirms death of Al-Qaeda heir Hamza bin Laden

ARY: US President Donald Trump confirmed on Saturday Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden had been killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in Afghanistan.

He did not give a time period for the operation or death.

US media reported in July and August, citing intelligence officials, that the younger Bin Laden had been killed sometime in the last two years in an operation that involved the United States.

CNN previously reported on July 31 that the US believed Hamza bin Laden was dead. At that time, two defense officials with knowledge of the operation told CNN that bin Laden had been killed at least several months prior.

The New York Times reported that Hamza bin Laden had been killed in an operation within the last two years.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed the death last month, saying it was his understanding that Bin Laden was dead, but Trump and other senior officials had not publicly confirmed the news.

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.

The 15th of Osama bin Laden’s 20 children and a son of his third wife, Hamza Bin Laden, thought to be about 30 years old, was emerging as a leader in the Al Qaeda franchise, the State Department said in announcing a million-dollar bounty on his head in February 2019.

Hamza had put out the 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 on May 2011.

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That work made him important in attracting a new generation of followers to the extremist group that carried out the 9/11 attacks on the United States, which left nearly 3,000 dead.