Trump con­firms Osama Jr dead, puts spot­light on Pak

Says Hamza Killed By US Mil­i­tary In Af-Pak Re­gion Tal­iban team in Rus­sia af­ter US talks col­lapse

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global - Chi­danand.Ra­jghatta @times­group.com

Washington: US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump con­firmed on Satur­day that Hamza bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s son, had been killed in a coun­tert­er­ror­ism op­er­a­tion in the “Afghanista­n/ Pak­istan” re­gion, turn­ing the ter­ror­ism spot­light again on Pak­istan, where some of the world’s most promi­nent ter­ror­ists have been killed or cap­tured over the past two decades.

“Hamza bin Laden, the high-rank­ing al-Qaida mem­ber and son of Osama bin Laden, was killed in a US coun­tert­er­ror­ism op­er­a­tion in the Afghanista­n/Pak­istan re­gion. The loss of Hamza bin Laden not only de­prives al-Qaida of im­por­tant lead­er­ship skills and the sym­bolic con­nec­tion to his father, but un­der­mines im­por­tant op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­i­ties of the group. Hamza bin Laden was re­spon­si­ble for plan­ning and deal­ing with var­i­ous ter­ror­ist groups,” the White House said in a state­ment from the pres­i­dent.

The younger bin Laden’s death, pur­port­edly in spe­cial op­er­a­tion sev­eral months ago, had been re­ported in­ter­mit­tently in the last cou­ple of weeks through in­tel­li­gence leaks. It was not clear why the White House chose this mo­ment to con­firm it and why there wasn’t more pre­ci­sion about the lo­ca­tion of the op­er­a­tion.

While the White House state­ment did not go into pre­cise de­tails of how he was elim­i­nated, ac­counts that first sur­faced on social me­dia claimed Hamza was be­ing es­corHamza’s death, pur­port­edly in a spe­cial op­er­a­tion car­ried out months ago, had been re­ported by US me­dia through in­tel leaks. It was not clear why the White House chose this mo­ment to con­firm it and why there wasn’t more pre­ci­sion about the lo­ca­tion

ted in a Pak­istan army avi­a­tion flight from Islamabad air­port when the plane nose­dived in a res­i­den­tial area near the Pak­istani army head­quar­ters in Rawalpindi. Re­ports at that time said US per­son­nel col­lab­o­rated with Afghans and brought down the plane know­ing it car­ried Hamza.

“Con­fir­ma­tion by @POTUS of Hamza bin Laden’s death but still am­bi­gu­ity about where he was killed. US knows where. Why say ‘some­where in Afghanista­nPak­istan re­gion’ in­stead of spec­i­fy­ing lo­ca­tion un­less pur­pose is to save some­one from em­bar­rass­ment?” asked Hu­sain Haqqani, a former Pak­istani am­bas­sador to the US and a tren­chant critic of the Pak­istani mil­i­tary es­tab­lish­ment’s pol­icy of us­ing ter­ror groups.

Sev­eral promi­nent ter­ror­ists in­volved in ma­jor at­tacks in the world have been cap­tured or killed in Pak­istan, a fer­tile breed­ing ground for ter­ror­ism and stateThe

Tal­iban sent a team to Rus­sia, and plans to visit China, Iran and Cen­tral Asian states to gauge sup­port for the US to be forced to leave Afghanista­n. A se­nior Tal­iban leader in Qatar said the group wants to keep re­gional lead­ers in­formed about the break­down of the talks and Pres­i­dent Trump’s de­ci­sion to sus­pend the process just be­fore a peace treaty.

funded ter­ror groups. They in­clude Osama bin Laden (killed in Pak­istan’s mil­i­tary can­ton­ment Ab­bot­tabad), Khalid Sheikh Mo­hammed (cap­tured in Rawalpindi), Abu Zubaidah (cap­tured in Faisal­abad), and Ramzi bin al Shibh (cap­tured in Karachi), among oth­ers. Ay­man al-Zawahiri, who re­cently is­sued a state­ment on the an­niver­sary of 9/11, is also be­lieved to be hid­ing in Pak­istan.

The man who was once ac­cused by his own peers of hid­ing Osama in a safe­house in Pak­istan, former di­rec­tor gen­eral of mili­tiary in­tel­li­gence Brigadier Ijaz Shah, is cur­rently the in­te­rior min­is­ter in the Im­ran Khan gov­ern­ment.

Hamza, who was be­lieved to be around 30, was said to be Osama’s favourite son from his third wife, the 15th child in a brood of 30. Doc­u­ments re­cov­ered dur­ing the raid by US Navy Seals in Ab­bot­tabad, Pak­istan, in­di­cated that he was be­ing groomed to suc­ceed Osama bin Laden.

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