President Donald Trump on Saturday confirmed the death of Hamza bin Laden, a high-profile member of al-Qaeda, and the son of the late Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The news came Saturday in an official statement from the White House, in which the president confirmed the known terrorist was killed as part of a U.S. counterterrorism operation, per CNN.
“The loss of Hamza bin Ladin not only deprives al-Qa’ida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group. Hamza bin Ladin was responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups,” the president said.
The statement confirms rumors about the death, which were first reported by NBC News at the end of July. According to that report, his death occurred sometime within the past two years, but U.S. sources were unable to say exactly when or how the heir to the 9/11 mastermind was killed.
At the time of that July article, the president refused to confirm the reports of Hamza bin Laden’s killing, though an administration official seemingly confirmed the news in an interview in August, per the CNN report.
The White House statement did not say when or where bin Laden’s son was killed, beyond saying it was somewhere in the Pakistan/Afghanistan region, per CNN.
On Saturday morning, social media saw many reactions to the younger bin Laden’s death.
“Hamza Bin Laden is dead,” conservative think tank Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk said in a tweet following the statement from the White House. “Today is a great day.”
The statement comes at a time when the president has been mired in controversy — more than he usually is — after he made several recent foreign policy decisions. In a tweet earlier this week, the president said he had cancelled a meeting with Taliban leaders that had been scheduled to secretly take place at Camp David in Maryland, following reports that the group was responsible for a recent bombing in Afghanistan.
The meeting with the leaders of the Taliban was scheduled to take place just days before the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, which claimed more than 3,000 lives.
Trump also made headlines this week when he took to Twitter to announce the firing of John Bolton as his national security advisor. The 45th president claimed that he and Bolton disagreed about several issues, including the president seemingly implying that he would side with North Korean President Kim Jong Un over Bolton. In future tweets, the president said he and his former national security advisor argued over issues pertaining to Cuba and Venezuela, but as The Inquisitr reported, Trump was vague about the intricacies of those disagreements.