Hamza bin Laden
|Hamza bin Laden|
|Born||Hamza bin Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden
c. 1991 (age 24–25)
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 father as well as his brother Khalid were killed in the 2011 Navy SEAL raid.
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. 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.
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 the 14 August 2015 he released an audio message for the very first time. He called upon followers in Kabul, Baghdad and Gaza to wage jihad, or holy war, on Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv.
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."
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.
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