by Florian Flade
Sa´ad Bin Laden could very likely have become his father’s successor. The 30-year old son of Al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden and his first wife Najwa had remained within the circles of the terrorist organization when US bombs fell on Afghanistan in 2001. Along with high-ranking Al-Qaida figures like Saif al-Adl and Sulayman Abu Ghaith as well as other Bin Laden family members, Sa´ad fled to Iran after the US invaded Afghanistan.
According to various sources Sa´ad, born in Jeddah (Saudi-Arabia) in 1979, and the other relatives of Osama Bin Laden were put under house arrest by the Iranian regime. What seemed like a prison-like situation was in fact protection from America´s war on Al-Qaida.
Sometime in 2008 or 2009 Sa´ad Bin Laden was allowed to leave Iran. He made his way to the Afghan-Pakistan border region and re-joined the Al-Qaida structure in Waziristan. In summer 2009 US intelligence sources claimed the Bin Laden son was killed by a CIA drone strike earlier that year. Sa´ad was not the prime target of the assassination but intelligence sources estimated there was a 85% chance he was in fact killed.
For three years Al-Qaida remained silent about the alleged death of Sa´ad Bin Laden. This week the organization officially confirmed it. In a new video released by “As-Sahab Media”, Al-Qaida´s Emir Dr.Ayman az-Zawahiri mentions the Bin Laden sibling when talking about Osama Bin Laden´s life.
The new video is part of a series titled “Days with the Imam”. Its content is basically Zawahiri telling stories about his time with Bin Laden. At one point the Egyptian terrorist leader says: “Osama Bin Laden had a son named Sa´ad Bin Laden – may Allah have mercy upon him”. Zawahiri then goes on telling Sa´ad Bin Laden has received martyrdom in the Jihad against America.
So with two of his sons killed (Khalid Bin Laden died in the US raid at the Abbottabad compound in May 2011 alongside his father) there are at least 11 Bin Laden sons still alive today. Two of which (Ibrahim and Hussain) the late Al-Qaida leader fathered when in hiding.
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