The grandson of al-Qaeda terrorist leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden has reportedly died.
The child, named Osama, like his grandfather, was praised for “martyrdom” by Hamza bin Laden, the son of the terrorist leader.
Hamza penned a letter about the death of the “hero cub”—his son—and called him the “grandson of bravery,” the Daily Mail reported. He said the boy would play-act scenes of “martyrdom.”
The note, dubbed “Letter from Sheikh Mujahid Hamza Bin Laden,” was published by Global Islamic Media Front, the propaganda arm of al-Qaeda. It included a photo of the boy and was addressed to the Bin Laden family.
#AlQaeda Supporters Circulating Letter Mourns The Death Of Its Leader Hamza Bin Laden's Oldest Son Osama Bin Hamza Bin Laden (Osama Bin Laden's Grandson) In #Afghanistan. #TerrorMonitor pic.twitter.com/WdJ9l98hOQ
— Terrormonitor.org (@Terror_Monitor) January 1, 2018
— لئیق الرحمان (@LaiqurRehman1) January 3, 2018
“We console ourselves and you on the martyrdom on the hero cub… the grandson of bravery… our son Osama, may Allah have mercy on him,” it reads. The cause of death and other details were not disclosed.
According to the Hindustani Times, the grandson, who is believed to be about 12 years old, was killed in an airstrike along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“Tragedies that we meet…such as these only make us stronger and more steadfast,” the letter claimed.
Terror Monitor tweeted that al-Qaeda supporters have been circulating the letter mourning the death.
Hamza bin Laden has become a propagandist after his father’s death in 2011 during a Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan. The United States added him to its terror list in 2017.
According to Reuters, the State and Treasury departments said last year they had designated Hamza bin Laden and Ibrahim al-Banna as global terrorists. Bin Laden, a son of the deceased al Qaeda leader, has been declared a member of the group by senior leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to the State Department.
Bruce Reidel, an analyst with the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, has called Hamza bin Laden the “new face for al Qaeda” and “an articulate and dangerous enemy.”
Al-Banna is a senior member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) who has served as the group’s security chief and has provided military and security advice to AQAP leaders, the State Department said.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added Bin Laden and al-Banna to its list of specially designated nationals, a counterterrorism blacklist. The State Department said the two had been identified as specially designated global terrorists.
Reuters contributed to this report.