After reports emerged late last month that the heir to al-Qaeda founder and terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden had been killed, a flurry of speculation followed about whom, where and when, as well as the fallout sure to follow.
While US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was short on details, he did confirm that, to his knowledge, the so-called “crown prince of jihad” had shuffled off his mortal coil.
“That’s my understanding,” Esper told Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin in a Wednesday interview, when she asked if Hamza bin Laden was dead. Esper was sworn in as defense secretary on July 23, but had been serving in the position as acting secretary for a month prior. He was previously secretary of the Army beginning in November 2017.
“I don’t have the details on that. And if I did, I’m not sure how much I could share with you,” Esper noted.
US President Donald Trump remained similarly mum in the days after the report emerged, which came to CNN via three unnamed administration officials.
“I don’t want to comment on it,” Trump said when asked.
The 15th of Osama bin Laden’s 20 children, Hamza was believed to be roughly 30 years old. His last known public appearance was in 2018.
This past March, the US State Department put out a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture or killing of Hamza bin Laden. Since 2015, he had positioned himself as succeeding his father, who was killed in a raid in Pakistan in 2011 by…