Osama bin Ladens tredje eldste sønn, Saad, ble med stor sannsynlighet drept i et droneangrep i Waziristan tidligere i år. Saad var ikke målet, han befant seg på feil sted til feil tid. Men det interessante i hans tilfelle er hans rolle i forhold til Iran.
Saad rømte til Iran da USA veltet Taliban-regimet, sammen med flere andre Al Qaida-medlemmer. Her ble han tatt imot av regimet. Saad var ambassadør for sin far. Deres iranske motspillere var ikke regjeringen, men Revolusjonsgarden, nærmere bestemt Quds-styrken, som er en stat i staten.
Earlier this year, a former US spy chief, Mike McConnell, said Saad, who is alleged to have worked for al-Qaeda in Iran, either escaped or was released from house arrest in Iran and was likely to be in Pakistan.
He played a prominent role in co-ordinating between al-Qaeda and Iran, where he is believed to have been arrested in 2003 after he sought sanctuary there after fleeing from Pakistan in 2001.
He allegedly helped facilitate communication between al-Qaeda’s number two leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the Quds Force, an elite unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, following an al-Qaeda attack on the US embassy in Yemen in 2008.
In January, in the dying days of the administration of president George W. Bush, the US Treasury Department froze the assets of Saad and three other al-Qaeda operatives.
Saad is one Osama bin Laden’s 19 children by four wives. Among them is Hamza bin Laden, 17, the youngest son of the al-Qaeda leader, was said to be the leader of one of four gangs of «designated assassins» sent to kill Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistani prime minister.
He featured in a joint Taliban and al-Qaeda video, shot in 2001, entitled The Mujahideen of Waziristan, where he is shown participating in an assault on Pakistani security forces in the south Waziristan tribal area.