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Osama Bin Laden’s Son Hamza Finally Confirmed Dead By US Officials

by : Emily Brown on : 15 Sep 2019 09:31
Hamza bin Laden confirmed deadPA Images/Associated Press

Osama bin Laden’s son, Hamza, has been confirmed dead by US officials. 

The White House released a statement on the matter yesterday (September 14), explaining the ‘high-ranking al-Qa’ida member’ was ‘killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region’.

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Osama founded al-Qaeda in the late 1980s and Hamza was widely considered to be a potential successor to his father.

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The date of Hamza’s death was not included in the statement, and while it has only just been announced there has been speculation the man, believed to have been in his early 30s, died in an airstrike sometime during President Trump’s first two years in office, the New York Post report.

Two defence officials spoke to CNN in July about Hamza, reportedly saying the US had a role in his death. The officials, who are said to have had knowledge of the operation, told the news outlet Osama’s son had been killed at least several months prior.

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While the timeline of Hamza’s death is unclear, yesterday’s statement was the first time the news was confirmed by the president.

Following the announcement, US officials told CNN the administration wanted to make sure it explored all angles and gathered all of the intelligence it could before making the announcement.

Hamza was said to be responsible for ‘planning and dealing with various terrorist groups’, and in January 2017 the State Department dubbed him a ‘specially designated global terrorist’. This February, officials put a bounty of $1 million on his head.

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Al Qaeda released Hamza’s last confirmed public statement in March 2018, in which he focused on threats against Saudi Arabia.

Peter Bergen, director of the international security programme at the New America foundation, told The Guardian in July Al Qaeda was ‘clearly grooming’ Hamza to be a next generation successor.

He commented:

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Ayman al-Zawahiri [al-Qaida’s official leader] hasn’t been a particularly effective leader. He’s got a sort of charisma deficit. And they were trying to put this guy forward.

Bin LadenGetty

The statement from the White House added:

The loss of Hamza bin Ladin not only deprives [Al Qaeda] of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group.

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Trump has not mentioned Hamza’s death on Twitter, though he did retweet the chairperson of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, who shared the news and said Trump is ‘fully committed to defending America and bringing terrorists to justice.’

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Al-Qaeda, Donald Trump, Terrorism

Credits

New York Post and 2 others
  1. New York Post

    US sends Osama bin Laden’s son straight to dad’s home in hell

  2. CNN

    Trump confirms Osama bin Laden's son Hamza killed in US counterterrorism operation

  3. The Guardian

    Trump confirms US has killed Osama bin Laden's son Hamza