(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump confirmed the death of Hamza Bin Laden, son of the 9/11 terrorist mastermind and al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden, marking the first time the White House is confirming his death since it was initially reported earlier this summer.”The loss of Hamza bin Laden not only deprives al-Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group,” said President Trump in a White House statement. “Hamza bin Laden was responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups.”Bin Laden was killed in a United States counter-terrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.His death was first reported by senior U.S. officials back in July.Hamza bin Laden is believed to have been killed during a joint raid by American and Afghan Special Forces, according to an Afghan intelligence source. Bin Laden wasn’t the target of the raid, but was caught in the compound as they conducted a raid for someone else.After the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan in 2011, Hamza bin Laden later emerged as a “key leader” in the terrorist organization, according to U.S. officials.The U.S. government said a letter found in the elder bin Laden’s compound during the Navy SEAL raid “indicat[ed] that he was grooming Hamza to replace him as leader” of al-Qaeda .In February, the U.S. State Department announced a $1 million reward for information leading to bin Laden’s capture and accused him of “threatening attacks against the United States in revenge for the May 2011 killing of his father by U.S. military forces.””Hamza was both the biological and ideological heir to his father,” said Tom Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
“Al-Qaida counted on him to speak to a new generation of jihadists,” he said.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.