Sep 14, 2019

White House confirms death of Osama bin Laden's son

In a statement on Saturday morning, the White House confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, a son of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, was killed during a U.S. counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

"...The loss of Hamza bin Ladin not only deprives al-Qa’ida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group.  Hamza bin Ladin was responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups."

The big picture: The announcement comes days after the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Al Qaeda has not carried out a major attack in years, per the New York Times. The militant group was possibly grooming Hamza bin Laden to become its next leader, but he mainly acted as the face of the organization.

  • His death reportedly took place within the past 2 years, per officials, NBC News reports. Additional details have not been confirmed.

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A year after Jamal Khashoggi's murder, Saudi trial veiled in secrecy

Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The men accused of murdering and dismembering journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018, have been on trial for his murder since early January, but Saudi Arabia is keeping the proceedings secret.

Why it matters: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has consistently denied ordering the killing, though media reports and a UN investigation have raised serious doubts about that claim. The Trump administration insisted after the murder that it was waiting for more information before assigning blame, but has neither accused nor absolved the crown prince.

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019

U.S. service member killed in Afghanistan as Taliban peace talks fizzle

U.S. soldiers walk at the site of a Taliban suicide attack in Kandahar. Photo: Javed Tanveer/AFP/Getty Images

An American Special Forces soldier in eastern Afghanistan was killed in action on Monday, bringing the total U.S. service members to die during combat operations to 17 this year, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The death comes one week after the Trump administration called off peace talks with the Taliban after a bombing in Kabul killed a U.S. soldier. The Afghanistan war is America's longest, with almost 18 years having passed since Operation Enduring Freedom began. The White House had wanted to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in 2020, but the plans have since stalled amid uncertainty over the future of peace talks.

Go deeper: House panel subpoenas U.S. Afghanistan envoy in probe of failed peace talks

Keep ReadingArrowSep 16, 2019

Days before Israeli elections, Trump says he'll pursue U.S.-Israel defense treaty

Donald Trump; Benjamin Netanyahu. Photos: Getty Images

Three days before the Israeli elections, President Trump tweeted on Saturday that he spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and agreed to work on a U.S.-Israel defense treaty after the election is over.

Why it matters: By making this statement, Trump directly intervened in the Israeli elections and sided with Netanyahu. Netanyahu has long sought a gesture from Trump that would help him win his reelection campaign. Trump's announcement was exactly the kind of support Netanyahu was looking for.

Go deeperArrowSep 14, 2019