Hamza bin laden
Hamza bin LadenIANS

Hamza bin Laden, the son of 9/11 mastermind and deceased Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has been killed, according to reports obtained by the US officials. 

Confirming the news, three US officials told NBC News that they had the information of Hamza bin Laden's death. However, no details on the place and date of his death were revealed.

The New York Times also cited two US officials who stated that he was killed during the last two years in an operation that involved the United States. Responding to the reports, US President Donald Trump said, "I don't want to comment on it."

Both the reports have claimed that Hamza, believed to be 30 years old, may have been killed before the US announced a $1 million bounty on him in February 2019.

Last year, it was reported that Hamza acquired a senior position within Al Qaeda and was known to seek vengeance for his father's killing in Abbottabad by the US military in May 2011. In the past, he made statements asking his followers to wage war on the US, the UK as well as France and Israel.

Early this year, the State Department said Hamza is "emerging as a leader in the Al-Qaeda franchise."

Letters written by Osama bin Laden that were seized from his Abbottabad house revealed that he was preparing Hamza to replace him as the terror outfit's leader. Later on Hamza was assumed to have donned the role of a deputy to Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Details about his whereabouts have been murky. He was last spotted by the US forces, suspected to be in Iran, after a video of a Hamza with the daughter of a senior Al Qaeda member emerged in August 2018.

It is believed that he was under house arrest in Iran, but the claim is unclear since others have suggested that he may have been in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria.

Reports on the death of al Qaeda's 'heir' comes days after the United Nations Security Council reported that the deteriorating health of al-Zawahiri has raised doubts about succession in the world's most notorious terror group.  

While Al Qaeda has a well-established network in terms of finances, media profile current combat experience and terrorist expertise, the UN report noted that the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) remains much stronger than Al-Qaeda.