During the chaos of the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, the al Qaeda leader's son escaped and is currently at large, a Pakistani security official tells ABC News. According to U.S. officials, bin Laden's son Khalid was killed but it's unclear if another son, 18-year-old Hamza, was present at the time of the raid (early reports suggested that Hamza was killed during the raid). Now Pakistani investigators say "it appeared someone was missing from the sprawling compound," reports ABC.
It will be interesting to see if bin Laden's wives confirm the report. One of the wives is Hamza's mother and is currently in Pakistan's custody. According to CNN and Al Jazeera, Pakistan agreed to grant the U.S. access to the wife, though a current timeline isn't in place for when that will happen.
The upside of the escape is that Hamza won't likely set out on an Inigo Montoya-like quest to lead al Qaeda and avenge his father. None of bin Laden's sons are in line to succeed him. "Unlike a lot of Arab governments that are dynastic," said former White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke to ABC News. "Al Qaeda has not been and [bin Laden's] sons have never played a real operational role of any significance. They did not appear to be groomed for leadership roles in al Qaeda." Here's a list of bin Laden's family provided by Reuters:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.