Hamza Bin Laden, the “crown prince of terror” and son of the mastermind behind the 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks, is urging Muslims around the globe to avenge his father Osama, killed in Pakistan by U.S. Navy Seals in 2011.
“I invite Muslims generally to take revenge from the Americans, the murderers of the Shaykh [Osama Bin Laden], specifically from those who participated in this heinous crime,” declared Hamza in an audio message titled, “Osama the Fighter Against Invaders & Inciter of Rebellion Against Tyrants,” reports the Long War Journal.
According to Newsweek, Hamza adds:
Rise in rebellion against oppression and tyranny, revolt against the agents of the Americans, initiate armed uprisings to overthrow them and establish the [strict Islamic law of] Shariah…Rise in rebellion against the arrogant tyrants. The imam, Osama, may Allah have mercy on him, departed this world encouraging and inciting you to continue the journey of the revolutions.
Al-Qaeda’s media wing As-Sahab reportedly disseminated the Hamza’s call to arms on Tuesday, complete with English subtitles.
Hamza has long expressed a desire to take revenge against the United States, urging jihadists to attack.
In an interview with CBS News’ 60 Minutes back in May, former FBI agent Ali Soufan quoted Hamza as saying in an audio message, “American people, we’re coming, and you’re going to feel it. And we’re going to take revenge for what you did to my father.”
Consistent with his vengeful rhetoric, Hamza also said in July 2016, “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.”
Various experts—like Soufan, the FBI’s chief investigator on al-Qaeda after 9/11—believe al-Qaeda has long been grooming the reportedly 28-year-old Hamza to become its next leader.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, the group’s current chief, has introduced the young jihadist as “a lion from the den of Al-Qaeda,” reports Vanguard, noting al-Qaeda considers Hamza the “poster boy” of its re-emergence efforts.
Analysts like Katherine Zimmerman from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) believe al-Qaeda is “strongest” in war-devastated Syria, where it has set the conditions to establish an Islamic emirate and absorb the remnants of its rival the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
Al-Qaeda has reportedly benefitted from the U.S.-led coalitions’ single-minded focus against ISIS to grow stronger and remain a prominent threat to the United States.
The recent audio message from Hamza comes in the wake of the CIA’s release of a massive trove of documents, images, and computer files recovered during the May 2011 raid that ended Osama at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Building on prior releases from the U.S. intelligence community, the CIA published 470,000 additional files at the beginning of this month that provides significant insights into al-Qaeda, including Iran’s collusion with the jihadist group and Osama’s links to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group.
Among the recently released files is a video of Hamza, who appears to be taking the helm of the al-Qaeda group like his father.
In the rare footage of an adult Hamza, the video purportedly shows the prospective al-Qaeda leader at his father’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.