Pakistan Dismisses Report of Bin Laden Son's Death

(AP)
A Pakistani intelligence officer has dismissed as "rubbish" a reported claim by an American counterterrorism official that the son of Osama bin Laden was likely killed in a U.S. missile strike.

National Public Radio quoted a senior U.S. official as saying American spy agencies were "80 to 85 percent" certain the al Qaeda boss's son had been killed in Pakistan. The source did tell NPR that it was impossible to confirm the identity, as there was no body on which to conduct DNA tests.

"People get very excited over unconfirmed information claiming the possible death of a bin Laden," a Pakistani official told CBS News' Farhan Bokhari in response to the report.

"At this point, unless proven otherwise, I am treating this news as no more than rubbish… There is no proof of Saad bin Laden's death," the official said Thursday. "Let's not forget, such claims have been made before."

A NATO defense official in Islamabad told Bokhari the report was "news to me." He also said such a landmark killing "could not have gone so unnoticed. The bin Laden name matters a lot to all of us."

A spokeswoman with the U.S. military in Afghanistan told CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark she had no information on the death of a bin Laden.

According to the NPR report, Saad bin Laden is believed to be in his 20s, and is thought to be active in al Qaeda, but not a significant player.

  • Tucker Reals

    Tucker Reals is the CBSNews.com foreign editor, based at the CBS News London bureau.