Al-Qaeda revealed in a newly released letter that Osama bin Laden’s 12-year-old grandson, named for the late terror leader, was killed in an airstrike during 2017 and had been “playing” martyrdom before his death.
The website Arabi 21 reported on New Year’s Eve that a leaked letter from Osama’s son, Hamza bin Laden, indicated his son was killed in an al-Qaeda camp along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border likely in July or August.
Today, al-Qaeda’s Global Islamic Media Front released a letter from Hamza, who is in his late 20s and was officially brought into the family business two years ago, explaining to bin Laden family members that “we condole ourselves and you on the martyrdom [of] the hero cub.”
“We congratulate him on the martyrdom he long wished despite his young age,” Hamza continued. “He always wished it and asked me that he be a fidayi. In the last days of his life, as he was playing with kids, he often acted out the image of his martyrdom, lying on the ground, eyes closed and smiling lightly, meaning he would be martyred this way.”
Hamza added that his son’s death “may outwardly seem to be a calamity, but it is indeed a great blessing by Allah.”
“We have to be patient and continue the march until victory and these things settle in us,” he wrote, adding that after the older Osama bin Laden’s death the younger Osama “was sad to a point we did not expect… weeks and months later, I found him intermittently in the corner of the house.”
Hamza called his son’s death “an honor and a pride to all our tribe.”
Hamza’s mother is bin Laden’s third wife, Khayriya Saber, who raised the boy in Iran after the 9/11 attacks per agreement between al-Qaeda and the regime in Tehran. Hamza would later receive some of his training from the Taliban.
He’s increasingly become the mouthpiece of his father’s terror organization with a message in November calling for retaliation against the specific Navy SEALs who raided the Abbottabad compound six years ago and killed his father. The bin Laden heir has also been urging young Muslims to revolt with a new, Shariah-based Arab Spring.
Since his dad spent his younger years working on his jihadi credentials, Hamza said, Muslims should “dedicate your youth to jihad.”