Slain Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto has, in her autobiography published posthumously, named the 16-year-old son of Osama bin Laden as the leader of one of the four gangs of "designated assassins" sent to kill her.
In excerpts carried by the Sunday Times, the former Pakistani prime minister, who was assassinated as she left a rally in Rawalpindi on December 27, reveals that both President Pervez Musharraf and a "friendly Muslim government" had warned her that Hamza bin Laden was planning her murder.
"The naming of bin Laden's teenaged son appears to bolster intelligence claims that Hamza is being groomed as a future leader of Al-Qaeda," the Sunday Times noted.
In her autobiography, Bhutto writes: "I was told by both the Musharraf regime and the foreign Muslim government that four suicide bomber squads would attempt to kill me. These included...the squads sent by the Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud; Hamza bin Laden, a son of Osama bin Laden; Red Mosque militants; and a Karachi-based militant group."
According to the Sunday Times, "little has been heard of Hamza since he featured in a joint Taliban and Al-Qaeda video, shot in 2001, of a militant attack on a Pakistan Army camp in South Waziristan.
"Last September, Hamza was described in reports as a senior Al Qaeda leader who had been waging a jihad in the lawless tribal areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border," the newspaper added.