Hamza bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's favorite son, has reportedly been groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps and now it seems he's on his way by making it to the US Most Wanted list.
The US State Department on Thursday offered a $1 million reward for information on Hamza bin Laden, the son of late Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
A statement released by the US State Department says Hamza has been one of the leaders within the terror organisation since at least August 2015, citing his integration into the group’s media production as evidence.
WANTED. Up to $1 million for information on Hamza bin Laden, an emerging al-Qa'ida leader. Hamza is son of Usama bin Laden and has threatened attacks against the United States and allies. Relocation possible. Submit a tip, get paid. https://t.co/LtBVhsrwTc #RFJ pic.twitter.com/gmx5hkoSzQ— Rewards for Justice (@Rewards4Justice) February 28, 2019
Who is Hamza bin Laden and why he is wanted now?
Hamza bin Laden, who was officially designated ‘a global terrorist’ by the US in 2017, was reportedly the favourite son of Osama.
Letters found in his father’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan indicate that Hamza was groomed by him for Al Qaeda leadership.
Last year, a UN report also strengthened this idea, claiming that Hamza has “continued to emerge as a leading figure” in the group.
There is also some speculation about his whereabouts. Hamza is believed to have spent years along with his mother in Iran where he married the daughter of Mohamed Atta, one of the leaders behind the 9/11 terror attacks.
Other reports say his location is between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria.
His family claim that they haven’t known his exact location since they cut all connections with him and his late father.
Since bin Laden's death, his Egyptian deputy Ayman al Zawahiri has been leading the group, but Hamza is the public face of the organisation.
He occasionally releases audio statements online, in which he calls for terrorist attacks around the world and disparages the United States and Saudi Arabia.
In 2015, he released an audio message urging militants in Syria to unite, claiming that the fight there would lead to the liberation of Palestine.
And in 2016, the group released an audio recording where Hamza threatened revenge against the US for assassinating his father.
"If you think that your sinful crime that you committed in Abbottabad has passed without punishment, then you thought wrong," he said.