WASHINGTON (AFP) – United States (US) President Donald Trump yesterday confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the son and designated heir of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, was killed in a counter-terrorism operation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
US media reported in late July and early August, citing intelligence officials, that the younger Bin Laden had been killed sometime in the last two years in an operation that involved the US.
US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper confirmed the death last month, saying it was “his understanding” that Hamza was dead, but Trump and other senior officials had not publicly confirmed the news.
“Hamza bin Laden, the high-ranking al-Qaeda member and son of Osama bin Laden, was killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region,” Trump said in a brief statement issued by the White House.
“The loss of Hamza bin Laden not only deprives al-Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group.”
The statement did not specify the timing of the operation.