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.”
The 17th edition of AQAP’s Inspire magazine provides a how-to guide for building a train derailment device. Al Qaeda has plotted against trains in the West in the past.
Al Qaeda released an audio message from Hamza bin Laden and a news bulletin during President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia. Hamza does not mention the American delegation, but he does criticize the Saudi family’s historical dealings with the British. The one-page newsletter specifically addresses Trump’s visit and claims that a new center for combating extremism in Riyadh will really be used “to fight faith, purity, and commitment.”