U.S President, Donald Trump said Saturday that late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden had been “killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region.”
The statement comes in just six months after the U.S declared Osama Bin Laden’s son wanted and offered a reward of up to $1m (£750,000) for information about him.
The U.S State Department at that time called Hamza bin Laden, who was believed to be in his early 30s, an “emerging” leader in the terror group.
“The loss of Hamza bin Ladin not only deprives al-Qa’ida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group,” President Trump said in the statement.
The President also said that “Hamza bin Ladin was responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups.”
CNN had reported on July 31 that the US believed Hamza bin Laden was dead. Following a confirmation of his death by President Trump, U.S officials told CNN that the administration wanted to make sure it explored all angles and gathered all of the intelligence it could before making the announcement.
The U.S said items seized from Osama bin Laden’s hiding place in Pakistan during the US Navy SEAL raid in 2011 that resulted in his death indicated he was grooming his son Hamza bin Laden to replace him as al Qaeda’s leader, CNN reported.
Earlier this year, official newspaper Um al-Qura reported that Saudi Arabia revoked Hamza bin Laden’s citizenship, citing a royal order issued to the Interior Ministry.