The United States has obtained intelligence that the son and potential successor of Osama bin Laden – the former leader of al-Qaeda – is dead.
The news of Hamza bin Laden’s death has come from three US officials, according to NBC.
The officials would not provide details of where or when Hamza bin Laden died or whether the US played a role in his death.
Hamza bin Laden is believed to have been born around 1989. His father moved to Afghanistan in 1996 and declared war against the US. Hamza went with him and appeared in al-Qaeda propaganda videos.
As leader of al-Qaeda, Osama oversaw operations against Western targets that culminated in the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Center, which killed 3,000 people when a series of four passenger airliners were hijacked by 19 terrorists.
US Navy SEALS killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 during a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Hamza was not found at the site.
Letters seized from the compound suggested the elder bin Laden wanted his son to join him in Abbottabad and was grooming him to become leader.
In March, the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden was revoked by Saudi Arabian authorities after the US offered a reward of up to $1 million (£756,000) for information relating to him.
The US State Department said that the $1m reward would be paid for help locating Hamza bin Laden in any country and is part of its ‘rewards for justice’ programme.
Hamza appeared in several propaganda videos for the terrorist group. Credit: PA
At the time, Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Michael Evanoff told the BBC: “We do believe he’s probably in the Afghan-Pakistan border [sic] and… he’ll cross into Iran. But he could be anywhere though in… south central Asia.”
The US State Department also added: “Hamza bin Laden… is emerging as a leader. He has released audio and video messages on the internet, calling on his followers to launch attacks against the United States and its Western allies, and he has threatened attacks against the United States in revenge for the May 2011 killing of his father by US military forces.”