State Department Designates Osama bin Laden's Son a 'Global Terrorist'

Alicia WestJan 06, 2017

The United States has added the son of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to the U.S. counter-terrorism blacklist, in a move that would keep him from accessing the USA financial system.

In 2015, he was officially declared a member of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group.

The State Department said he "is actively engaged in terrorism" and "as a result of this designation, all property subject to USA jurisdiction in which Hamza bin Laden has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him". The classification automatically invokes sanctions on the individual.

"Today's action notifies the USA public and the worldwide community that Hamza bin Laden is actively engaged in terrorism".

Hamza bin Laden's 2016 audio message was titled "We Are All Osama" and said in part, "We will continue striking you and targeting you in your country and overseas in response to your oppression of the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and the rest of the Muslim lands that did not survive your oppression".

Hamza bin Laden also has called for lone wolf, or solo-operative, attacks against U.S., French, and Israeli interests in Washington, Paris and Tel Aviv. A July message from him threatened revenge against Americans in the USA and overseas. "Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the USA financial system". The sanctions deny people access to the USA financial system and "can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other US agencies or other governments".

The State Department also announced penalties against Ibrahim al-Banna, a senior member of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Banna is subject to a US government reward of up to $5 million.

Hamza bin Laden is now believed to be in his mid-20s.

Hamza is the son of the former al-Qaeda leader and Khairiah Sabar, one of Osama's wives who was captured during the 2011 raid on his father's Abbotabad compound in Pakistan. Now leading al-Qaida is Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was allegedly involved in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya.

Hamza Bin Laden reads a poem at al-Qaeda gathering. The State Department press release did not give an indication as to where Hamza bin Laden is located.

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