Hamza bin Laden

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Hamza bin Laden
Born c. 1991 (age 22–23)
Military career
Allegiance Al-Qaeda
Battles/wars

War on Terror:

Hamza bin Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (Arabic: حمزة بن أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن‎; born c. 1991) better known as Hamza bin Laden or "Hamza Laden", is a son of Osama bin Laden. His brother Khalid was killed in the 2011 Navy SEAL raid which also killed his father.[1]

Early life[edit]

In January 2001, Hamza (then 10-years-old), his father and other family members attended the wedding of his brother Mohammed bin Laden in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.[2] 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.[3][4]

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.[5]

Career with al-Qaeda[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7][8]

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.[9]

Hamza Bin Laden was implicated in the 2007 assassination of the former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.[10] 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.[11]

2 May 2011 Raid[edit]

Hamza is the son of Khairiah Sabar of Saudi Arabia, one of Bin Laden's three wives who were living in the Abbottabad compound.[12] Interrogation of the surviving wives of Osama Bin Laden by Pakistani intelligence after the raid on the Abbottabad 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.[13][14]

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."[15] The same letter revealed that Hamza did not escape the raid because he was not even present in Abbottabad.[16][17] 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.[18][19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harris, Paul. "Obama's Bin Laden coup risks becoming PR defeat". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  2. ^ Adam Robinson, Bin Laden: Behind the Mask of the Terrorist, p.271
  3. ^ "Bin Laden sons 'fighting with Taleban'". BBC News. 2001-11-08. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  4. ^ "Osama's Confession; Osama's Reprieve". mydemocracy.net. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  5. ^ "Bin Laden in their sights". The Sun-Herald. 2003-03-09. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  6. ^ "Hamza Laden is his father's true successor". The Times of India. 2005-12-26. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  7. ^ Ap, Fox (2007-09-11). "Bin Laden son Hamza rises to al-Qaida cause". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  8. ^ "Tentacles spread from Al-Qaeda's lair in Pakistan". AFP. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  9. ^ Hughes, Simon (2008-07-09). "Bin Laden's son in web terror rant". The Sun (London). Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  10. ^ Hamza bin Laden wants to keep his father’s family business of terror going
  11. ^ http://kronosadvisory.com/Kronos_US_v_Sulaiman_Abu_Ghayth_Statement.1.pdf
  12. ^ Chuck Bennett (2011-05-11). "Osama's youngest son escaped capture". New York Post. 
  13. ^ "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. 
  14. ^ Dean Praetorius (2011-05-11). "Hamza Bin Laden, 'Crown Prince Of Terror,' May Have Escaped Raid (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. 
  15. ^ David Ignatius (2012-03-18). "A lion in winter". The Washington Post. 
  16. ^ http://zeenews.india.com/news/south-asia/osama-bin-ladens-son-hiding-in-pakistan_773754.html
  17. ^ http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-106998-Osamas-son-may-be-hiding-in-Pakistan
  18. ^ David Gardner (May 14, 2011). "What next for Brand Bin Laden?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved September 11, 2012. 
  19. ^ Chirstina Lamb (May 7, 2012). "Iran double-crossed Osama bin Laden". The Australian. Retrieved September 11, 2012.