Published: Thu, August 01, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

United States 'has intelligence Hamza bin Laden is dead'

United States 'has intelligence Hamza bin Laden is dead'

The U.S. government is expected to make an announcement shortly about Hamza bin Laden, the son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, a U.S. official said on Wednesday after NBC News reported the United States has intelligence the son is dead.

The US has intelligence that Osama bin Laden's son Hamza is dead, according to media reports citing unnamed US officials.

The three USA intelligence officials who spoke with NBC declined to share when, where, or how the younger bin Laden died, and would not say whether the US was at all involved.

Hamza's father, Osama bin Laden, helped to found al-Qaeda, the Islamist militant group notorious for the 2001 September 11th attacks, which killed almost 3,000 people. He was regarded as a potential successor to his father, who led the terror group when it attacked New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

US intelligence played a role in the operation that killed the younger bin Laden, the source said, declining to elaborate. Hamza was not found at the site. A piece written by counterterror expert and former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Ali Soufan warned that "Hamza is being prepared for a leadership role in the organization his father founded".

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Karnataka Congress MLA UT Khader, who reached the spot, told local news channels that the police were looking into "all angles". Although, the signature mentioned in the letter differs from Siddhartha signature in the company's annual reports in 2018.

In March, Saudi Arabia had revoked his citizenship after the U.S. offered a $1m (£755,000) reward for help locating him as part its "rewards for justice" programme.

Bin Laden's son was named a "specially designated global terrorist" in January 2017. He was described on Twitter as "an emerging al Qaeda leader" that had been threatening the USA and its respective allies.

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.

The State Department had previously offered a reward of up to $1 million for information leading "to the identification or location in any country" of Hamza, calling him a key al Qaeda leader.

The White House did not immediately issue a comment on the matter.

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