Hamza bin Laden
|Hamza Bin Laden|
1989 (age 28–29)|
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
|Years of service||2010–present|
Hamza bin Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (Arabic: حمزة بن أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن; born 1989), better known as Hamza bin Laden, is a son of Osama bin Laden. His father, as well as his brother Khalid, were killed in the 2011 Navy SEAL raid.
Early life and family
In January 2001, Hamza (then 12 years old), his father and other family members attended the wedding of his brother Mohammed bin Laden in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. Video footage shot in Ghazni province in November of the same year shows Hamza and some of his siblings handling U.S. helicopter wreckage and working alongside Taliban resistance.
In March 2003, it was claimed that Hamza and his brother Saad bin Laden had been wounded and captured in Ribat, Afghanistan. This claim eventually proved false.
Career with al-Qaeda
In a 2005 video titled The Mujahideen of Waziristan, Hamza is shown participating in an al-Qaeda assault on Pakistani security forces in the south Waziristan tribal region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. In September 2007, it was reported that he was again in the tribal belt that encompasses the Pakistan/Afghanistan border region taking a senior role with al-Qaeda forces.
In July 2008, The Sun published a translation of a poem said to be written by Hamza, which had been published on an extremist Islamic Web site. In the poem Hamza wrote "Accelerate the destruction of America, Britain, France and Denmark." In response British MP Patrick Mercer dubbed Hamza bin Laden the Crown Prince of Terror.
Hamza Bin Laden was implicated in the 2007 assassination of the former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. However, according to an interrogation of former al-Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Hamza was under house arrest in Iran when Bhutto was assassinated and was not released until 2010.
On 11 May 2016 it was reported he had released an audio message focused on the issues of Palestine and the Syrian Civil War. He said the "blessed Syrian revolution" had made the prospect of "liberating" Jerusalem more likely. "The Islamic umma (nation) should focus on jihad in al-Sham (Syria) … and unite the ranks of mujahedin," he said. "There is no longer an excuse for those who insist on division and disputes now that the whole world has mobilised against Muslims."
In July 2016, media reported that he had issued an audio message threatening the United States in revenge for his father's death. In the 21-minute speech entitled "We Are All Osama", he said "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," Hamza said. "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." In May 2017, a recording by Hamza bin Laden was published by As-Sahab, encouraging terrorist attacks against Western targets.
In the light of his growing influence within al-Qaeda, the United States classified Hamza Bin Laden as Specially Designated Global Terrorist in January 2017. This effectively puts him on a blacklist aimed at restricting his movement and economic abilities.
In May 2017 a video was released in which he calls on his followers to attack Jews, Americans, Westerners and Russians, via lone wolf attacks using any means possible.
May 2011 raid
Hamza is the son of Khairiah Sabar of Saudi Arabia, one of Bin Laden's three wives who were living in the Abbottabad compound.
Interrogation of the surviving wives of Osama Bin Laden by Pakistani intelligence after the raid on the Abbottabad compound revealed Hamza was the only person missing. He was not among those killed or injured. The raid conducted by the SEAL team was thorough: infrared technology, as well as ground troops, remained confident nobody inside the compound had escaped. There were no hidden exit tunnels from the compound.
In a letter confiscated in the raid, written by bin Laden and addressed to his "Chief of Staff" Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, bin Laden mentions his desire that Hamza would be educated in Qatar as a religious scholar so that he could "refute the wrong and the suspicions raised around Jihad." The same letter revealed that Hamza did not escape the raid because he was not even present in Abbottabad. Letters from the compound also confirmed that Osama was grooming Hamza to be his heir apparent following the death of Hamza's older brother Saad in a 2009 US drone strike.
- Harris, Paul. "Obama's Bin Laden coup risks becoming PR defeat". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2011-03-05.
- Adam Robinson, Bin Laden: Behind the Mask of the Terrorist, p.271
- "Bin Laden sons 'fighting with Taleban'". BBC News. 2001-11-08. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- "Osama's Confession; Osama's Reprieve". mydemocracy.net. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- "Bin Laden in their sights". The Sun-Herald. 2003-03-09. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- "Hamza Laden is his father's true successor". The Times of India. 2005-12-26. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- Ap, Fox (2007-09-11). "Bin Laden son Hamza rises to al-Qaida cause". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- "Tentacles spread from Al-Qaeda's lair in Pakistan". AFP. Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- Hughes, Simon (2008-07-09). "Bin Laden's son in web terror rant". The Sun. London. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- "Hamza bin Laden wants to keep his father's family business of terror going". The Daily Hatch. 2011-05-11.
- Asma Alabed (10 July 2016). "Son of Osama bin Laden issues threat of revenge against the US". The Independent. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- Associated Press. "Bin Laden's Son Threatens Revenge Against US". ABC News. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- Joscelyn, Thomas (May 13, 2017). "Hamza bin Laden offers 'advice for martyrdom seekers in the West'". Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Archived from the original on May 14, 2017.
Hamza bin Laden, the son of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, has released a new message offering "advice" for "martyrdom seekers in the West." Hamza encourages followers to lash out on their own, but only after carefully preparing their attack so they "may inflict damage far beyond anything the enemy has ever imagined."
- "State Department Terrorist Designation of Hamza bin Laden". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
- "Latest al Qaeda propaganda highlights bin Laden's son". CNN. 2017-05-05.
- Chuck Bennett (2011-05-11). "Osama's youngest son escaped capture". New York Post.
- "The Bin Laden who got away: Was 'Crown Prince of Terror' the son who escaped U.S. special forces raid?". Daily Mail. London. 2011-05-10.
- Dean Praetorius (2011-05-11). "Hamza Bin Laden, 'Crown Prince Of Terror,' May Have Escaped Raid (VIDEO)". Huffington Post.
- David Ignatius (2012-03-18). "A lion in winter". The Washington Post.
- "Osama bin Laden's son hiding in Pakistan?". Zee News.
- "Osama's son may be hiding in Pakistan". The News International, Pakistan. 7 May 2012.
- David Gardner (May 14, 2011). "What next for Brand Bin Laden?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- Christina Lamb (May 7, 2012). "Iran double-crossed Osama bin Laden". The Australian. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "Bin Laden's son threatens revenge against US - Google User Contents- Trending Things You Search in Google!". www.googleusercontent.co.in. Retrieved 2016-07-11.