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Bin Laden's Youngest Son May Be Rising in al-Qaeda

Audio message reportedly from Hamza urges attacks on US
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2015 1:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – A man claiming to be Osama bin Laden's youngest son Hamza released an audio message calling for al-Qaeda supporters to step up lone-wolf attacks on the United States and its allies, he Telegraph reports. He singled out Washington DC, London, Paris, and Tel Aviv as targets. If the recording, which was shared by supporters on Twitter, is indeed from Hamza bin Laden, it would be the first time he has acted as an official spokesperson for al-Qaeda, according to the BBC. The Telegraph reports evidence from the Abbottabad compound where Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 suggest he was hoping Hamza, believed to be 23 or 24 now, would take over as leader of al-Qaeda.

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The director of terror intelligence group Site describes Hamza as having "lived the life of jihad with his father." Hamza may have been involved in attacks on Pakistan and Afghanistan when he was a young teenager, and footage from 2001 reportedly shows him fighting alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to the BBC. The use of Hamza may be an effort to reattach the family name to al-Qaeda in order to shore up the militant group's "brand," says the intel expert via the Independent. His whereabouts are unknown. (Read more al-Qaeda stories.)

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