Osama bin Laden’s eldest grandson has died.
A letter written by the boy’s father and obtained by terror monitors confirmed this.
Al-Qaeda former leader’s son Hamza described his 12-year-old son as a “hero cub” and “martyr”.
The cause of the death, according to The Independent, is not known yet.
One report, citing jihadi sources, suggested the boy had been killed in an air strike on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Others believe he was more likely to have died of an illness.
The letter, translated into English by al-Qaeda propaganda arm the Global Islamic Media Front, was addressed to the bin Laden family. It was posted on Twitter by terrorism cyber-monitor Jihadoscope.
“We condole ourselves and you on the martyrdom of our hero cub… the grandson of our bravery,” the newspaper quoted Hamza bin Laden.
He said his son, named after the former al-Qaeda leader, “often acted out the image of his martyrdom, lying on the ground, eyes closed and smiling slightly” as he played with other children.
According to him, the boy had been “sad to a point we did not expect” at the death of his grandfather, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Centre and the world’s most wanted terrorist until he was killed by US forces in 2011.
Saudi-owned news channel Al-Arabiya, citing sources familiar with the matter, said the boy’s death at some point last year was “most likely due to an illness he caught and not receiving proper medical attention.”
But Arabic news website, Arabi 21, reported claims he had been killed in an air raid on an al-Qaeda base.
Hamza bin Laden was added to the US counter-terrorism blacklist in 2017 following fears he was emerging as the jihadi group’s new figurehead.
In November, he called for jihadis to avenge his father’s death with terror attacks targeting the US.