On Sept. 14, President Trump released a statement saying Hamza bin Laden was killed in an American “counterterrorism operation.” However, key questions concerning Hamza’s life and death remain unanswered.
According to a recently released report by a UN Security Council monitoring team, the Taliban is the “primary partner for all foreign terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan,” including al Qaeda. The only exception is the Islamic State, which opposes the Taliban.
According to the UN’s Jan. 2019 assessment, al Qaeda’s relationship with the Taliban is “long-standing” and “strong.” And al Qaeda “continues to see Afghanistan as a safe haven for its leadership.” The UN estimates that the Islamic State has several thousand fighters in Afghanistan as well.
The State Department announced today that it is offering a $1 million reward for information on Hamza bin Laden’s whereabouts. Hamza is the genetic and ideological heir of al Qaeda’s founder and he has been groomed for a leadership position within the organization.
In his latest message, Hamza bin Laden warns that Shiites are expanding throughout the Middle East and claims that the Saudi government is incapable of stopping them. Hamza calls upon Muslims to support the jihadists in Yemen. He also criticizes the relationship between the Saudis and the US.
In a newly released audio message, Hamza bin Laden praises his father for spreading jihadism and attacking the US. Hamza calls on Muslims to rise up against “tyrant” rulers and wage jihad until sharia is imposed. The message was posted online just days after the CIA released a video from Hamza’s wedding. The video was recovered in Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound.
The US has released a video from Hamza bin Laden’s wedding, providing a more recent image of Osama’s heir than was previously available. The video was recovered during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in May 2011. FDD’s Long War Journal assesses that the wedding likely took place inside Iran, where Hamza was detained until being released sometime in 2010.
In a new message, Hamza bin Laden praises the jihadists fighting to establish an “Islamic government” in Syria. But he warns that their enemies seek to “divide” their “ranks.”