Hamza bin Laden, Son and Heir to Qaeda Founder, Is Dead


(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

Hamza bin Laden, Son and Heir to Qaeda Founder, Is Dead

The United States had a role in the operation that killed the younger Mr. bin Laden, officials said. But other details, including where he died, remained unknown.

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Credit C.I.A., via Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden, who was long viewed as heir to the leadership of Al Qaeda and who had repeatedly threatened to attack the United States, is dead, according to two American officials.

Hamza bin Laden was killed in the past two years, during the Trump administration, but it took time to confirm his death, the officials said.

In February, the State Department announced a $1 million reward for information about his whereabouts. However, by then, Mr. bin Laden had been killed — but his death had not yet been confirmed by the military and intelligence agencies.

The United States government had a role in the operation that killed the younger Mr. bin Laden, but it was not clear precisely what that role was. Details, including where it happened, were scarce. The officials discussed his death on the condition of anonymity because it involved sensitive operations and intelligence gathering.

The location of Mr. bin Laden had been the subject of public speculation. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of Al Qaeda, including Mr. bin Laden, fled to Iran, where they were detained. Since then, Mr. bin Laden had been reported to be in the Afghanistan and Pakistan border region, as well as in Syria, analysts and former officials have said.

President Trump was asked Wednesday about the death, first reported by NBC News, but he declined to comment.

After the 2011 death of Osama bin Laden in a SEAL Team 6 raid in Pakistan, Hamza bin Laden was being groomed for the top leadership role in Al Qaeda by two of his father’s top lieutenants. He married a daughter of one of them.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Julian E. Barnes is a national security reporter based in Washington, covering the intelligence agencies. Before joining The Times in 2018, he wrote about security matters for the Wall Street Journal. @julianbarnes  Facebook

Adam Goldman reports on the F.B.I. from Washington and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. @adamgoldmanNYT

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