Saad bin Laden,one of Osama bin Laden's sons was probably killed in a U.S. air strike in Pakistan earlier this year, U.S. National Public Radio reported, citing U.S. intelligence sources.

A U.S. counter-intelligence official said it was 80 to 85 percent certain that Saad bin Laden, who was in his twenties, had been killed.

The official said the son of the al Qaeda leader was not a major figure and would not have been important enough to target but was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mike McConnell, the former U.S. national intelligence director, said that Saad had spent several years under house arrest in Iran before crossing into Pakistani territory in 2008.

There have been reports (of his death), but none of them has been confirmed or verified unless his body was found a senior Pakistani security official said on condition of anonymity earlier on Thursday.

Intelligence officials say they would need DNA evidence to confirm the kill, though it remains unclear if U.S. authorities have the body in custody.

The United States believes that Osama bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan.

While al Qaeda often releases audiotaped messages from bin Laden, the last videotape was released was two years ago, and there is constant speculation that he might have died.