Bid to reunite bin Laden and son before deadly raid – documents

2015-05-21 08:04
File: AP

File: AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Just one month before Osama bin Laden was killed at his Pakistani hideout by US commandos in 2011, his aides tried to reunite him with a beloved son, Hamza, who had been held under house arrest in Iran, documents released on Wednesday show.

In a message dated April 2011 an al-Qaeda operative named "Mahmud" wrote to bin Laden describing efforts he was making to smuggle his son, one of many children of the al-Qaeda leader, to meet with him.

"I have tried to find a way to send him to you on the main road, but I was not able to find one due to the intensified security procedures and searches," Mahmud wrote.

The letter was one of hundreds of documents seized by the commandos when they staged a daring raid on bin Laden's secret home in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May, 2011. They were released in Washington by US intelligence.

Hamza and other family members, including his mother Khairiyah, bin Laden's third wife, spent years in Iran, where they fled after the September 11 2001 attacks and subsequent US military operation against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Other relatives

In a message to his father dated July 2009, Hamza lamented that he "was separated from you when I was a small child, not yet 13. ... You might not recognize me when you meet me, as my features have changed".

"But what truly makes me sad," Hamza added, "is the Mujahidin legions have marched and I have not joined them."

In his November 2010 letter, "Mahmud" described Hamzah as "very sweet and good", but added that he appeared to have become depressed.

"He comes back to me asking me that he should be trained and participated in giving. He does not want to be treated with favouritism because he is the son of 'someone'... I promised him to plan some safe training for him: firing arms and with various weapons," Hamza wrote.

US officials said it was unclear if Hamza bin Laden ever got a chance to see his father before the US raid. A US official said he did not know where Hamza is today, or if he even is still alive.

He is not believed to have been at the Abbottabad house when the raid took place, although a number of other relatives were there.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  osama bin laden  |  pakistan  |  us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.