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Official: One of Osama bin Laden's sons believed dead

  • Story Highlights
  • U.S. counterterrorism official: Saad bin Laden probably killed in Pakistan
  • The son is believed to have died in a U.S. missile strike earlier this year
  • Analysts aren't totally sure because of a lack of hard evidence
  • Saad bin Laden not considered to have been major player in al Qaeda
From Pam Benson
CNN Senior Producer
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A U.S. counterterrorism official says Saad bin Laden, one of the sons of Osama bin Laden, was probably killed earlier this year in Pakistan.

"We believe he is dead, although in all of these instances, unless you have DNA or other hard evidence, you don't know for sure," said the official, adding that "other intelligence" led analysts to reach the conclusion he is likely dead.

The son, who is believed to have died in a missile strike by a U.S. predator drone, was not considered a significant player in al Qaeda.

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Shortly after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October of 2001, Saad fled the country and went to Iran, where he was held under house arrest for a number of years. Video Watch more on reports of Saad bin Laden's death »

Former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said Saad left Iran last year and was believed to have resettled in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.

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