Trump confirms Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza killed in US counterterrorism operation

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(CNN) – President Donald Trump in a statement on Saturday said late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden‘s son Hamza bin Laden had been “killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region.”

He did not give a time period for the operation or the death.

“The loss of Hamza bin Ladin not only deprives al-Qa’ida of important leadership kills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group,” the President said in the statement.

Trump also said “Hamza bin Ladin was responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups.”

CNN previously reported on July 31 that the US believed Hamza bin Laden was dead, citing a US official. The official told CNN at the time that the US had a role in this death but did not provide details.

Earlier this year the US State Department called bin Laden, who was believed to be in his early 30s, an “emerging” leader in the terror group al Qaeda, offering a million-dollar reward for information leading to his capture.

CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said one thing is puzzling researchers who are closely tracking al Qaeda: “If Hamza bin Laden has indeed been dead for months, you would expect al Qaeda to have released some form of eulogy before today. The fact they haven’t is highly unusual, given his status in the group.”

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