US offers one million dollar reward to find late Osama bin Laden's son Hamza

US intelligence agencies increasingly see the younger bin Laden as a successor to his father for the mantle of global jihad, especially as the even more extreme IS group is confined only to Syria.

Published: 01st March 2019 08:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2019 04:17 PM   |  A+A-

 Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. (Photo | AFP)

By AFP

WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday offered a USD 1 million reward for information on a son of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, seeing him as an emerging face of extremism.

The location of Hamza bin Laden sometimes dubbed the "crown prince of jihad," has been the subject of speculation for years with reports of him living in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria or under house arrest in Iran.

"Hamza bin Laden is the son of deceased former AQ leader Osama bin Laden and is emerging as a leader in the AQ franchise," a State Department statement said, referring to Al-Qaeda.

The State Department said that it would offer USD 1 million for information leading to his location in any country.

Hamza, who according to the United States is around 30, has threatened attacks against the United States to avenge the 2011 killing of his father, who was living in hiding in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad, by US special forces.

US intelligence agencies increasingly see the younger bin Laden as a successor to his father for the mantle of global jihad, especially as the even more extreme Islamic State group is down to its last sliver of land in Syria.

In 2015, bin Laden released an audio message urging jihadists in Syria to unite, claiming that the fight in the war-torn country paves the way to "liberating Palestine."

And in a message a year later, following in the footsteps of his father, he urged the overthrow of the leadership in their native Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden's three surviving wives and his children were quietly allowed to return to Saudi Arabia after his killing.

But Hamza bin Laden's whereabouts have been a matter of dispute. He is believed to have spent years along with his mother in Iran, despite Al-Qaeda's strident denunciations of the Shiite branch of Islam that dominates the country.

Observers say that the clerical regime in Tehran kept him under house arrest as a way to maintain pressure on rival Saudi Arabia as well as on Al-Qaeda, dissuading the Sunni militants from attacking Iran.

One of Hamza bin Laden's half-brothers told The Guardian last year that Hamza's whereabouts were unknown but that he may be in Afghanistan.

He also said that Hamza bin Laden married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in Al-Qaeda's September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed some 3,000 people and sparked the US intervention in Afghanistan.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp