Following the horrific events of September 11, 2001, the leader of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, became the most infamous and wanted man in the world. It was only a matter of hours until the United States deduced that Bin Laden was the architect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and consequently he went into hiding until his death on May 2nd, 2011.
But before the United States captured and killed Osama Bin Laden, it was reported he would constantly micromanage Al Qaeda and was obsessed with its branding. Which is an odd thing to obsess over, because that obsession implies a perception of nobility.
Now there’s a new face of Al Qaeda and it will certainly shock you.
The Daily Mail UK reports:
“Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza is poised to lead al Qaeda years after his father’s death, personal letters seized in the raid that killed bin Laden have revealed.
Now, Hamza is about 28 years old, but he wrote one of the letters to his father when he was 22.
A former FBI agent who has read the documents, which are now declassified, said that Hamza seems motivated and prepared to avenge his father.
Ali Soufan was an agent who also served as the bureau’s lead investigator of al Qaeda after 9/11. He said bin Laden’s son was seen as the next possible leader of the terrorist organization when he was just a child, CBS News reported.
Principal among Hamza’s messages is his desire for revenge.
‘He’s basically saying, ‘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…Iraq…Afghanistan’…the whole thing was about vengeance,’ Soufan said.”
Even as a youngster, Hamza was literally a poster child for Al Qaeda. Hamza was posted in promo-videos holding rifles next to his father.
And analysts suggest that Hamza even shares the speech sounds, patterns, and terminology his father used – not to mention inheriting his hatred for United States.
Although Osama’s hatred for the United States dated back to secretly helping Afghanistan against the Russians in the late 1980’s, Hamza’s hatred is fueled by revenge for his father, which obviously is deeply personal.
And it’s crystal clear in the propaganda videos he recently released.
The Daily Mail UK continued:
“For a new episode of 60 Minutes, Soufan explained the importance of the personal letter, despite the fact that when Hamza wrote it he had not seen his father for years.
‘He tells him that…he remembers “every look…every smile you gave me, every word you told me. I consider myself to be forged in steel. The path of jihad for the sake of God is what we live,”‘ Soufan said about Hamza.
Hamza has been a prominent figure in several propaganda videos for al Qaeda, even as a young boy. He was filmed calling for terrorist attacks on London, Washington and Paris in an audio message released by the organization in 2015.
He has recorded four of theses types of messages in the last two years.
This January, Hamza was placed on a State Department terror watch list and named a ‘specially designated global terrorist’ – the same classification Osama had.
‘He was a poster kid for the al Qaeda… and for members of al Qaeda, who were indoctrinated with these propaganda videos, he means a lot to them,’ Soufan said.
Following [his father’s] death, dozens of letters written by him to his family and senior members of al Qaeda were released.
Senior intelligence officials claimed that some revealed he had been grooming his son to take over the terror group. In one letter, Hamza’s mother even implored her son to follow in his ‘father’s footsteps.’”
Osama Bin Laden’s rage towards the United States was an attack on our values and way of life, but his misguided son also seeks revenge in addition to continuing with his father’s legacy. And that is potentially a far more dangerous combination.