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Hamza Bin Laden: Son of Osama ‘dead’, US officials say

Hamza Bin Laden

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CIA

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The US government had offered $1m for information leading to his whereabouts

The son of al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden, Hamza, has died, according to US intelligence officials.

Details of Hamza Bin Laden’s place or date of death remain unclear in the anonymously-sourced reports.

In February, the US government offered $1m for information leading to his whereabouts.

Hamza Bin Laden, thought to be aged about 30, had released audio and video messages calling for attacks on the US and other countries.

The reports were first carried by NBC and the New York Times.

US President Donald Trump refused to comment on the issue when asked by reporters on Wednesday, as did the White House national security adviser John Bolton.

Hamza Bin Laden urged jihadists to avenge his father’s killing by US special forces in Pakistan in May 2011.

He had also called on the people of the Arabian peninsula to revolt. Saudi Arabia stripped him of his citizenship in March.

Media captionVideo footage shows Hamza Bin Laden at his wedding

He was believed to have been under house arrest in Iran but other reports suggest he also may have resided in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria.

The US state department said documents seized in the 2011 raid on his father’s house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, suggested Hamza Bin Laden was being groomed to take over the leadership of al-Qaeda.

US forces also reportedly found a video of his wedding to the daughter of another senior al-Qaeda leader which was thought to have taken place in Iran. His new father-in-law was Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah or Abu Muhammad al-Masri, indicted for his alleged involvement in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

Al-Qaeda was the group behind the devastating 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States, but its status has been undermined during the past decade as the Islamic State group rose to prominence.

Al-Qaeda: The basics

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Getty Images

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Osama Bin Laden near Kabul in 2001

  • Emerged in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, as Arab volunteers joined US-backed Afghan mujahideen fighting to expel the occupying Soviet forces
  • Osama Bin Laden set up an organisation to help the volunteers, which became known as al-Qaeda, or “the base”
  • He left Afghanistan in 1989, returning in 1996 to run military training camps for thousands of foreign Muslims
  • Al-Qaeda declared “holy war” on Americans, Jews and their allies

Hamza Bin Laden: Son of Osama ‘dead’, US officials say

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