Saudi Arabia Revokes Citizenship Of Hamza Bin Laden

US News

Saudi Arabia announced Friday it had revoked the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaida leader who has become an increasingly prominent figure in the terror network.

Written By Press Trust Of India | Mumbai | Updated On:

Saudi Arabia announced Friday it had revoked the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaida leader who has become an increasingly prominent figure in the terror network.

Saudi Arabia revoked his citizenship via a royal decree in November, a notice published Friday by the kingdom's official gazette said.

There was no explanation of why the order was only becoming public now.

However, the announcement comes after the US government offered a USD 1 million reward for information leading to his capture as part of its "Rewards for Justice" program.

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Bin Laden, who according to the United States is around 30, has threatened attacks against the United States to avenge the 2011 killing of his father, who was living in hiding in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad, by US special forces.

Bin Laden's son has emerged as a leader of the al-Qaida terrorist group. 

"Hamza bin Laden is the son of deceased former AQ leader Osama bin Laden and is emerging as a leader in the AQ franchise," a State Department statement said, referring to Al-Qaeda.

His father was killed in a US military raid in Pakistan in May 2011.

Hamza bin Laden was named a "specially designated global terrorist" in January 2017. He has released audio and video messages calling for attacks against the U.S. and its allies.

The US intelligence agencies increasingly see the younger bin Laden as a successor to his father for the mantle of global jihad, especially as the even more extreme Islamic State group is down to its last sliver of land in Syria.

But Hamza bin Laden's whereabouts have been a matter of dispute. He is believed to have spent years along with his mother in Iran, despite Al-Qaeda's strident denunciations of the Shiite branch of Islam that dominates the country.

Observers say that the clerical regime in Tehran kept him under house arrest as a way to maintain pressure on rival Saudi Arabia as well as on Al-Qaeda, dissuading the Sunni militants from attacking Iran.

One of Hamza bin Laden's half-brothers told The Guardian last year that Hamza's whereabouts were unknown but that he may be in Afghanistan.

He also said that Hamza bin Laden married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in Al-Qaeda's September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed some 3,000 people and sparked the US intervention in Afghanistan.

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