Osama bin Laden’s son and heir Hamza dead, say reports

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

Osama bin Laden’s son is believed to be around 30 years old and his rumoured heir

Hamza bin Laden, the son and rumoured heir to deceased al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, is dead, according to intelligence reportedly obtained by the United States. 

The news was first reported by NBC News on Wednesday morning, though officials would not immediately confirm the details or whether the US had any role in his death. 

Hamza bin Laden called on the people of the Arabian peninsula to revolt in his last public statements released by the terror group’s media arm last year, which also included threats to Saudi Arabia.  

The country stripped him of his citizenship in March, when the US State Department announced a reward of up to $1m (£817,605) for information leading “to the identification or location in any country” of Hamza, calling him a key al Qaeda leader.

Hamza, believed to be about 30 years old, was at his father’s side in Afghanistan before the September 11 attacks and spent time with him in Pakistan after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan pushed much of al Qaeda’s senior leadership there, according to the Brookings Institution.

Introduced by the organisation’s new chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in an audio message in 2015, Hamza provided a younger voice for the group whose ageing leaders have struggled to inspire militants around the world galvanized by Isis, analysts said.

He called for acts of terrorism in western capitals and threatened to take revenge against the United States for his father’s killing, the State Department said in 2017 when it designated him as a global terrorist.

He also threatened to target Americans abroad and urged Saudi tribes to unite with Yemen’s al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to fight against Saudi Arabia, it said.

Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces who raided his compound in Pakistan in 2011. Hamza was thought to be under house arrest in Iran at the time, and documents recovered from the compound indicated that aides had been trying to reunite him with his father.

The Saudi decision to strip him of his citizenship was made by a royal order in November, according to a statement published in the Um al-Qura official journal.

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