Politics

Esper appears to confirm death of bin Laden's son

US defense secretary: 'That's my understanding'

(CNN) - U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper appeared to confirm Wednesday that the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's son Hamza bin Laden is dead.

"That's my understanding," Esper told Fox News in an interview when asked if Hamza bin Laden was dead.

Asked if the U.S. had any role in his death, Esper responded: "I don't have the details on that. And if I did, I'm not sure how much I could share with you."

U.S. officials told CNN last month that the U.S. had assessed that Hazma Bin Laden was dead but provided few details.

Earlier this year, the U.S. State Department called bin Laden, who was believed to be in his early 30s, an "emerging" leader in al Qaeda, offering a $1 million reward for information leading to his capture.

The State Department said items seized from the elder bin Laden's hiding place in Pakistan during the Navy SEAL raid that resulted in his death indicated he was grooming Hamza bin Laden to replace him as al Qaeda's leader.

He married the daughter of a senior al Qaeda leader who was charged by a federal grand jury for his role in the Aug. 7, 1998, bombings of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya.

Saudi Arabia revoked Hamza bin Laden's citizenship, official newspaper Um al-Qura reported earlier this year, citing a royal order issued to the Interior Ministry.


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