On Saturday, the White House officially announced and confirmed the death of Hamza bin Laden. Hamza was the son of the notorious al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, who was suspected of being the ring leader to the events of 9/11. Hamza was reportedly killed during US-led counterterrorism operations that were being conducted in the region of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A statement that was issued in the name of President Donald Trump gave very little in the way of details. It is still unknown as to how Hamza was killed or even the method by which the administration confirmed his death. The administration offered no other information than the official three-sentence statement issued by the White House.
American experts have said that all indications point to the fact that the CIA, not the US military, were the conductors of the fateful strike. However, the CIA has stood fast to declining a comment one way or the other on whether the agency was indeed involved.
In the statement that the White House released, Hamza bin Laden’s death “not only deprives al-Qaida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father but undermines important operational activities of the group.”
The statement went on to say that Osama bin Laden’s son was believed to be “responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups.”
As early as this summer, based on reports by intelligence agencies, coupled with the fact that Hamza had not surfaced or been heard from for quite some time, US officials suspected that Hamza was already dead. The officials who made this statement did so on the condition of their anonymity to speak on intelligence matters.
Mark Esper, current sitting Defense Secretary, stated in late August on the Fox News Channel that it was “my understanding” that Hamza bin Laden was indeed already dead. An official, familiar with the Hamza case, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated with certainty that Hamza had been killed in the past 18 months.
He also reminded that confirming the death of such a high profile individual can take quite a long time. The same individual did decline to state what he thought led to the White House to now report Hamza’s death with such absolute certainty.
In February, the government offered up $1 million for any help in tracking down Hamza bin Laden, being part of the Rewards for Justice program, headed up by the State Department.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Will the announcement of Hamza bin Laden’s death play a role in the upcoming elections?