Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bin Laden's son killed by drone strike?

One more thing to add to the debate about the usefulness of drone strikes in Pakistan, perhaps.

U.S. officials believe Saad bin Laden — a son of Osama bin Laden — has been killed by an American missile in Pakistan.

Saad bin Laden reportedly spent years under house arrest in Iran before traveling last year to Pakistan, according to former National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell.

It's believed he was killed by Hellfire missiles fired from a U.S. Predator drone sometime this year.

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official tells NPR that without a body to conduct DNA tests on, it's hard to be completely sure. But he characterized U.S. spy agencies as being "80 to 85 percent" certain that Saad bin Laden is dead.

The U.S. counterterrorism official says Saad bin Laden wasn't important enough to target personally — that he was "in the wrong place at the wrong time."


  1. Captain Exum has finally come back,
    His chin dented by Stan's sack.
    He's still drinking Kool-Ade,
    Forget the graves we've made,
    Which means he's back on track.

  2. Yes, I was just joking.


  3. Similar issues have come up in the past, and it bears researching. Osama Bin Laden likely has many sons (and has reportedly had many wives), so killing one of Osama's sons may not be as huge as killing, say, Uday and Qusay Hussein.

  4. Totally agree, Starbuck. It's interesting to me more for what it reveals about the quality of BDA and our level of awareness about the identity of casualties.

  5. For example, how many times has 'the #3 leader in Al Qaida' been killed?

  6. For example, how many times has 'the #3 leader in Al Qaida' been killed?

    According to the Onion, 80% of #2s. So I guess it depends how you count.