The second-oldest son of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was apparently killed in a U.S. missile strike inside Pakistan this year, U.S. counterterrorism officials said Thursday.
Saad bin Laden, 27, an al-Qaeda member who has been linked to terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia, is believed to have been among the victims of a series of strikes by unmanned CIA Predator aircraft in the past few months, the officials said. If confirmed, he would be the closest relative to bin Laden killed by U.S. forces since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.
“There are some indications that he may be dead, but it’s not 100 percent certain,” said a Washington-based counterterrorism official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitive nature of CIA operations along the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier. He declined to say precisely when and where the strike occurred.