Islamabad: Hamza bin Laden, who is said to be the Osama's most militant son, was in Peshawar at the time US Navy SEALs raided his father’s Abbottabad hideout on May 02, 2011, said a report.
According to the report in The News International, Hamza was living at a safe house in Peshawar when his father was shot dead by the US Navy SEALs.
Hamza was reportedly being groomed as the future chief of al Qaeda.
A trove of documents the US Navy SEALs took from Osama’s Abbottabad compound was published last week on the website of the Combating Terrorism Centre.
The papers reveal that Osama was wary of the security of his son Hamza and Hamza’s mother, Khairiah Sabar. The al Qaeda leader suspected the duo were under watch.
He wrote: “Regarding my son Hamzah and his mother, I wish you take all the security precautions that were mentioned before in order to disrupt surveillance on him. He should move only when the clouds are heavy.”
“As for Hamzah, if you find my companion that we talked about, please send him (to) Peshawar and the surrounding area and ask him to arrange a house that can hold two families in addition to his family. He should stay there with Hamzah,” Osama wrote. “If you did not find him yet, then please have a trusted Pakistani brother accompany him. Make sure to tell Hamzah that I am of the opinion that he needs to get out of (Waziristan) if he is there, and he should not go there if he is not there. …”
Earlier, the US claimed that Hamza had been killed alongside his father. Then it became known that Khaled bin Laden, not Hamza, was killed. Now, this report says Hamza did not escape the raid because he was not even present in Abbottabad; he was in Peshawar.
Hamza, who was born in Saudi Arabia in 1989, is perhaps the most militant scion of Osama’s family. He was a violent jihadist even before his 18th birthday; that is why he is also known as "the Crown Prince of Terror”.
The documents also reveal that Khairiah and her only son, Hamza, had reached Pakistan from Iran, where they were under house arrest after fleeing from Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks five years earlier.
First Published: Monday, May 07, 2012, 15:56