Hamza bin Laden, a son of Osama bin Laden, has been officially designated a global terrorist by the United States.Hamza, who is now in his late 20s, was named an official member of al-Qaeda in 2015 and is seen as a possible successor to his father.
Sanctions will now be imposed on Hamza bin Laden, nearly a year and a half after Ayman al-Zawahiri, his father’s successor as senior leader of Al-Qaeda, announced the younger bin Laden was an official member of the group.All property which the young bin Laden has an interest in and that is subject to US jurisdiction will be blocked under these sanctions. Citizens of the US are also “generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him.”
In an audio message in 2016, Hamza bin Laden threatened revenge against the U.S. and warned Americans they would be targeted at home and abroad. In a 2015 audio message from al-Zawahiri, Hamza bin Laden called for acts of terrorism in Western capitals, according to the State Department.
He also has called for lone wolf attacks against the United States, France, and Israel.
“Hamza bin Laden is actively engaged in terrorism,” the State Department said.
In August, Professor Fawaz Gerges, an expert on Middle East politics, told BBC Radio 4 that Hamza was “the new face of al-Qaeda – he is charismatic, he is very popular with the rank and file”.
“He was his father’s favorite son – everyone, even for the last ten years, has been talking about Hamza succeeding his father.”