NBC News has just reported that the United States obtained intelligence that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s son and expected successor, Hamza bin Laden, is dead. According to three U.S. officials who would “not provide details of where or when Hamza bin Laden died or if the U.S. played a role in his death” makes it uncertain if the U.S. has confirmed his death.
Hamza’s father, Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 by Navy SEALS who raided his compound in Abottabad, Pakistan. Osama’s son, Hamza’s last known public statement was released by Al Qaeda’s media arm in 2018. In the statement he “threatened Saudi Arabia and called on the people of the Arabian peninsula to revolt.”
As NBC reports, Hamza moved to Afghanistan with his father in 1996 and appeared in al Qaeda propaganda videos with his father after he declared war against the United States. When the Navy SEALS seized the bin Laden compound, they found letters suggesting he was grooming his son Hamza to be a terrorist leader.
An article was released in 2017 written by counterterror expert and former FBI agent Ali Soufan who said “Hamza is being prepared for a leadership role in the organization his father founded” and is “likely to be perceived favorably by the jihadi rank-and-file. With the Islamic State’s ‘caliphate’ apparently on the verge of collapse, Hamza is now the figure best placed to reunify the global jihad movement.”
In February of this year, the United States State Department offered a $1 million dollar reward for information on Hamza’s whereabouts.