AT News Report
KABUL: Saudi Arabia says it has revoked the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden, a son of deceased al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, just one day after the United States is willing to pay up to $1 million for his whereabouts.
Riyadh did not provide specifics on why it was stripping bin Laden of his citizenship, but it said it was revoked on February 22. It was only made public now.
The Saudis also stripped Osama bin Laden of his citizenship in 1994 while he was living in exile in Sudan.
Hamza bin Laden’s location remains a mystery. Speculation has centered on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran.
The US Department of State in a statement said that Hamza bin Laden is “emerging as a leader” in Al Qaeda, the terrorist organization co-founded by his father.
He was labeled a “specially designated global terrorist” in January 2017, the statement added.
Hamza has released audio and video messages calling on his supporters to launch terror attacks against the United States and its allies in the West.
He has also threatened attacks against the U.S. in retaliation for his father’s May 2011 death by US service members, according to the State Department.
As a “specially designated global terrorist,” Hamza bin Laden’s assets in the US have been frozen and Americans are prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.
In August, United Nation’s experts delivered a report to the Security Council which stated that Al Qaeda is still a global network showing resilience and that it is stronger than ISIS in countries like Somalia, Yemen and South Asia, Fox News reported.
“Al Qaeda’s leadership demonstrates strategic patience and its regional affiliates exercise good tactical judgment, embedding themselves in local issues and becoming players,” the report said.
The report also stated that Hamza was emerging as a leadership figure in the terrorist organization.
Al Qaeda was founded in 1988. The terrorist organization led several attacks targeting US troops and embassies abroad.
On September 11, 2001, 19 al Qaeda hijackers took over four commercial flights and crashed them. Two of the planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, another one into the Pentagon and the fourth into a field in Pennsylvania. The 9/11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000.
His father, Osama bin Laden was killed during a US military raid on May 2, 2011, in Abbottabad of Pakistan.