The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday (February 28) blacklisted Hamza bin Laden, the son of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, describing him as the “most probable successor” of the group’s current leader Aiman al-Zawahiri. The UNSC designated Hamza bin Laden under its sanctions list, subjecting him to a travel ban, assets freeze and an arms embargo.
The United Nations Security Council’s 1267 ISIS and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee listed 29-year old Hamza bin Laden in its list, a day after the United States announced a reward of up to one million dollars for information about him.
The United States had on Thursday offered a one million dollars reward for information on Hamza bin Laden, seeing him as an emerging leader of the extremist network.
“Since at least August 2015, he has released audio and video messages on the Internet calling on his followers to launch attacks against the United States and its Western allies, and he has threatened attacks against the United States in revenge for the May 2011 killing of his father by U.S. service members,” the State Department said.
On Friday (March 1), Saudi Arabia also announced that it had revoked the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden via a royal decree in November 2018.
Hamza, believed to be about 30 years old, was at his father’s side in Afghanistan before the September 11 attacks and spent time with him in Pakistan after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan pushed much of al Qaeda’s senior leadership there, according to the Brookings Institution.
A Security Council press release said Ayman al-Zawahiri has announced that Hamza bin Laden is an official member of Al Qaeda. “Hamza bin Laden has called for followers of Al-Qaeda to commit terror attacks. Is seen as the most probable successor of al-Zawahiri,” the powerful 15-member Council said.
In January 2017, the State Department had listed Hamza bin Laden as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, freezing all of his assets based in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons. The designation also prohibited US persons from engaging in transactions with him.
With PTI inputs