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US appears to confirm death of Al-Qaeda figurehead Hamza bin Laden

Hamza bin Laden was reported dead last month [FBI]

Date of publication: 23 August, 2019

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The US Pentagon chief has confirmed the death of Osama bin Laden's son.


US Pentagon chief on Thursday confirmed the death of Al-Qaeda figurehead Hamza bin Laden, son of the founder of the group Osama.

Hamza bin Laden was the designated heir to his father, who founded the jihadi group, but was reportedly killed in an operation involving the US two years ago, according to media reports last month.

US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said on Thursday that these reports appear to be accurate.

"That's my understanding," Esper when asked by Fox News if Hamza bin Laden was dead.

"I don't have the details on that. And if I did I'm not sure how much I could share with you," he added.

US President Donald Trump refused to comment on the reports when they first came out last month.

"I don't want to comment on it," Trump told reporters when asked.

 

Hamza was Osama's 15th son and "emerging as a leader in the Al-Qaeda franchise", according to the State Department.

He had put out video and audio messages promising revenge for his father's death, after Osama bin Laden was killed in a US special forces raid in Pakistan in 2011.

Al-Qaeda is currently led by Egyptian-born cleric Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

Jihadist sympathisers have cast doubts on Hamza's death.

"We know nothing about the veracity of this claim. We'll wait for denial or confirmation from the general command of al-Qaeda," one supporter was quoted as saying online.

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