NEW YORK: Osama bin Laden has died – this time the grandson and namesake of the notorious 9/11 mastermind, according to a report.
Little Osama was being hailed for his “martyrdom” by his father Hamza, the heir apparent to the al Qaeda leader, Newsweek reported.
A letter published by al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, the Global Islamic Media Front, released an image of a young Osama, titling the release “Letter From Sheikh Mujahid Hamza Bin Laden,” according to the mag.
“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,” Hamza wrote in the letter published on Twitter by cyber-monitoring company Jihadoscope.
The dad, believed to be about 28 years old, said his eldest son was of a “young age,” though he did not provide details, including the cause of death.
The Saudi-owned outlet Al-Arabiya, which speculated that the boy died of an illness, cited sources as saying he was 12 years old.
Hamza wrote in the letter that Osama had frequently play-acted scenes of martyrdom while playing with other kids.
Referring to his own father’s death, Hamza said his son was “sad to a point we did not expect,” finding him crying in the corner of their home.
In recent years, al Qaeda has begun using Hamza as a figurehead for its propaganda, appearing to capitalise on his infamous last name to combat the rise in popularity of ISIS.
He has called on Muslims around the world to avenge his father’s death at the hands of US Navy SEALs during a 2011 raid on his compound in Pakistan.
Hamza – whom the US has designated a “global terrorist” — is believed to have grown up in Sudan and Afghanistan with his father and stayed with al Qaeda’s senior leadership while Osama went into hiding after the 9/11 attacks.
In November, Hamza was seen at his wedding in a home video that SEALs seized from his father’s Abbottabad compound.