US has intel that Osama bin Laden’s son is dead: report

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FEDERATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES. /AFP/File
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AFP

Washington – US intelligence has received information that Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza has died, NBC News reported Wednesday.

NBC said three US officials had confirmed they had information of Hamza bin Laden’s death, but gave no details of the date or place, and did not indicate if they had confirmed the information.

Questioned by reporters in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump did not confirm or deny the report.

“I don’t want to comment on it,” he said.

In February the US government put a $1 million bounty on Bin Laden’s head, saying the man sometimes dubbed the “crown prince of jihad” was “emerging as a leader in the Al-Qaeda franchise.”

He had put out audio and video messages calling for attacks on the United States 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 suggested Hamza was being groomed as heir to the Al-Qaeda leadership, according to the US State Department.

US forces also found a video of the wedding of Hamza, who was thought to have been 30, to the daughter of another senior Al-Qaeda official that is believed to have taken place in Iran.

Hamza bin Laden’s whereabouts have never been pinpointed. He was believed to have been under house arrest in Iran but reports suggest he also may have resided in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria.

The group behind the deadly September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Al-Qaeda’s prominence as a radical Islamist group has faded over the past decade in the shadow of the Islamic State group.

But branches and associated jihadist groups in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere have underscored its continuing potency.

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