U.S. expected to make announcement about Bin Laden’s son Hamza soon


FILE PHOTO: A photograph circulated by the U.S. State Department’s Twitter account to announce a $1 million USD reward for al Qaeda key leader Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden, is seen March 1, 2019. State Department/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government is expected to make an announcement shortly about Hamza bin Laden, the son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, a U.S. official said on Wednesday after NBC News reported the United States has intelligence the son is dead.

The U.S. official provided no further details. Earlier, NBC News cited three U.S. officials as saying that the United States had obtained intelligence that Hamza bin Laden is dead, saying that they would not provide details of where or when he died, or whether the United States played a role in his death.

Asked earlier if he had intelligence that bin Laden’s son had been killed, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters: “I don’t want to comment on it.” Separately, the White House declined comment on whether any an announcement was imminent.

Hamza, believed to be about 30 years old, was at his father’s side in Afghanistan before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and spent time with him in Pakistan after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan pushed much of al Qaeda’s senior leadership there, according to the Brookings Institution.

Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. 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.

Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Howard Goller and Marguerita Choy

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