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The US Sets Its Sights on a 30-Year-Old bin Laden

State Department will pay up to $1M for info on Osama's son, Hamza bin Laden
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2019 6:19 AM CST
Updated Mar 1, 2019 9:03 AM CST
In this image from video released by the CIA, Hamza bin Laden is seen as an adult at his wedding.   (CIA via AP)

(Newser) – "Submit a tip, get paid," reads the tweet from the State Department's Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program. In this case, the US is looking for a big tip—and offering a handsome reward: The US announced it will pay up to $1 million for information leading to Hamza bin Laden, the 30-year-old son of Osama. The State Department describes him as an emerging al-Qaeda leader who has issued audio and video threats against the US and Western nations loyal to it in revenge for his father's death. The BBC reports that letters found in the compound where Osama was killed in 2011 indicated Hamza was the son he was grooming to take over for him. He was added to the US' Specially Designated Global Terrorist list in 2017, and he has another familial terror tie: Relatives in 2018 said he had married the daughter of Mohamed Atta, the eldest of the 9/11 hijackers.

As for his general whereabouts, "We do believe he's probably in the Afghan-Pakistan border [region] and... he'll cross into Iran. But he could be anywhere though in ... south central Asia," said Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Michael Evanoff. NBC News reports the UN took action against Hamza as well on Thursday: Member states are required to freeze his assets and adhere to a travel ban and arms embargo against him. In the meantime, Saudi Arabia has made its own move against the young bin Laden: Per the kingdom's interior ministry, his citizenship there has been taken away, the Independent reports. The Washington Post notes that the revocation actually occurred by royal decree in November; it's not clear why it's coming to light only now. (Read more Hamza bin Laden stories.)

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