'US killed bin Laden's son in Pakistan'

US official tells NPR that Sa'ad bin Laden, a low-level player in al-Qaida, died during a US drone attack.

Bin Laden in Afghanistan 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Bin Laden in Afghanistan 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Sa'ad bin Laden, the son of arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden, has been killed by a US drone attack in Pakistan, US officials told the National Public Radio station (NPR) in a report aired on Wednesday. The report quoted a senior US counterterrorism official, who said that while Sa'ad bin Laden was active in al-Qaida, he was not a major figure in the terror organization, and was not important enough to target personally. It was therefore assumed that he was simply "in the wrong place at the wrong time," the official said. While the report of his death was "80 to 85 percent certain," the official said that no body had yet been found. The report did not detail what facts led the US to make the assumption that he was killed. According to the report, the younger bin Laden, who was in his late twenties, had been living under house arrest for some time in Iran, but had moved to Pakistan last year. The drone attack, which employed a Hellfire missile, took place some time this year. Despite Sa'ad bin Laden's relative lack of importance in the organization, the official told NPR that "we make a big deal out of him because of his last name." Sa'ad's father, Osama bin Laden, has been wanted "dead or alive" by the United States since 2001, after his organization, al-Qaida, launched the 9/11 attacks which killed over 3,000 people.