Bin Laden’s son has threatened revenge against the United States for the assassination of his father.
Hamza bin Laden, the youngest known son of the dead al-Qaeda mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, announced his plans for avenging his father through an audio clip that was released by the terrorist organization’s media outlet, As Sahab.
Reuters reports that according to the SITE Intelligence Group (a U.S. enterprise that monitors terrorist communication globally), bin Laden’s son spoke passionately on his plans to seek revenge against the United States and its ally countries.
The video was 21 minutes long and was titled “We Are All Osama.”
Bin Laden’s son — thought to be in his twenties now — had been with him for extended periods, including the time when the 9/11 attacks were conceived.
The words (quoted in the same article by Reuters), in the message released by Hamza bin Laden, rings with the rhetoric of a militant leader in the making.
“We will continue striking you and targeting you in your country and abroad in response to your oppression of the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and the rest of the Muslim lands that did not survive your oppression.”
In the photograph at the top of the article, a newspaper stand in New York displays papers heralding the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011. President Barack Obama announced the death of bin Laden during a late night address from the White House on May 1.
Killed in an American military operation at a temporary residence in Abbottabad in Pakistan, Osama’s death is the focus of bin Laden’s son’s address.
“As for the revenge by the Islamic nation for Sheikh Osama, may Allah have mercy on him, it is not revenge for Osama the person but it is revenge for those who defended Islam.”
While Fox 61 speculates that Bin Laden’s son may be gearing up to take the chief position at al-Qaeda with this announcement, Indian newspaper The Hindu quotes Brookings Institution’s former CIA operative and presidential advisor Bruce Riedel, who says that Hamza is already poised to threaten the U.S. with the perceived danger of his leadership.
“Hamza provides a new face for [A]l Qaeda, one that directly connects to the group’s founder. He is an articulate and dangerous enemy.”
Introduced almost a year ago in a similar video by the then-al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, Hamza is thought to have fled to Pakistan with the rest of Osama’s family and aides when U.S. invasion made them fear for their lives.
Hamza’s mother, Khairiah Sabar of Saudi Arabia, was one of Osama bin Laden’s three wives who were with him when he was killed in the Abbottabad compound in Pakistan.
A New York Post article reported that bin Laden’s son — a teenager who was already being groomed to take over leadership then — was almost lucky in escaping the US Navy SEALs when they attacked their hideout.
Bin Laden, too, had high hopes regarding the capabilities of his son, especially after his older son Saad died in a U.S. drone attack earlier. Among the letters found in Osama’s room after his death, wrote David Ignatius in the Washington Post, was one where he mentioned his wishes for Hamza.
“Toward the end of his long message to Atiyah, he spoke of his son Hamzah and his desire that the young man would be educated as a religious scholar in Qatar so that he can ‘refute the wrong and the suspicions raised around Jihad’.”
Bin Laden’s son is thought to be living in Iran now.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]