Trump reportedly urged the CIA to hunt and kill Osama bin Laden’s son instead of more pressing terrorist threats
US President Donald Trump urged his intelligence officials to go after the son of Osama bin Laden — even over more urgent terrorist threats, NBC News reported Sunday.
The network cited two military and intelligence officials who said Trump did not recognize many of the names on the CIA’s list of potential US targets.
“That was the only name he knew,” a Pentagon official said, according to NBC News.
“He would say, ‘I’ve never heard of any of these people. What about Hamza bin Laden?'” a former official said.
Bin Laden’s death was announced July 31, 2019, but it was unclear exactly when he was killed, according to media reports.
Trump has also approved successful strikes on other top terrorist targets, including ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Yemen’s al Qaeda chief, Qasim al-Rimi.
The State Department had for several years considered Hamza bin Laden a top priority, and he was believed to be a potential future al Qaeda leader.
Nevertheless, NBC reported that intelligence officials had a number of more pressing threats they brought to Trump, including al Qaeda’s current leader Ayman al-Zawahri.
A senior Trump administration official told the network Trump’s highest priority was “keeping Americans safe.”
“He and his administration have successfully targeted the most dangerous and deadly terrorists in the world in order to protect the American people, including Hamza bin Laden, al-Baghdadi, Qassem Soleimani, and Qasim al-Rimi,” the official said. “These and countless other measures that have removed dozens of high value targets exemplify this administration’s resolve to defeat terrorism.”