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rosco 357

US thinks Bin Laden son was killed, not certain
Jul 23 01:12 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. counterterrorism official said Thursday that Saad bin Laden, a son of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, may have been killed, but that intelligence agencies are not certain of his fate.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence, the official said Saad had not been a major operational figure in his father's terrorist organization.

The son may have been killed in a U.S. Predator drone strike in Pakistan earlier this year, according to several U.S. broadcast organizations. Officials said there was a "80 to 85" percent per chance he was killed during a strike on someone else, National Public Radio and Fox News reported.

Saad bin Laden was believed to have fled Afghanistan for Iran shortly after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

After being held under a form of house arrest in Iran for a number of years, he is believed to have turned up in Pakistan, where his father has reportedly been in hiding somewhere in the ungoverned border region near Afghanistan.

In January, the U.S. Treasury Department slapped financial sanctions on the younger bin Laden and three other al-Qaida figures. In announcing a freeze on their assets held under U.S. jurisdiction, Treasury also said that people from the United States would be barred from engaging in financial transactions with them.

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