Bin Laden’s son urges jihad against Saudi regime & US influence

Hamza, the youngest son of Osama bin Laden. © AFP / AL-JAZEERA
Al-Qaeda founder and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden’s son, Hamza bin Laden, has called on the Saudi people to join global jihad and gain battle experience in Yemen to eventually overthrow the monarchy and put an end to US influence over the kingdom.

In a new recording released on Wednesday by the Al-Qaeda-linked As-Sahab media outlet, the heir of Osama bin Laden urged Saudi youth to join the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to “gain the necessary experience” in waging “intifada” to free the country from the Al-Saud family, SITE Intelligence Group reported Wednesday.

The undated audio message is Hamza bin Laden’s fourth speech since August 2015, as he tries to assert his influence over the global terrorist network. While Al-Qaeda has been headed by Ayman Al Zawahri since 2011, experts believe that Hamza is aiming for the top terrorist position.

Furthermore, the resurgence the ‘heir’ comes amid bitter rivalry among the notorious jihadist groups. Al-Qaida’s Syria affiliate Al-Nusra Front is a rival of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), which itself is a former Al-Qaeda offshoot whose leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014 declared an Islamic caliphate across Iraq and Syria.

After he urged an uprising against the Saudi monarchy, Hamza went on to focus on global jihad issues, touching on the need to continue resistance in Palestine and Syria, as part of “an ongoing effort to unify and head the movement,” SITE’s Director Rita Katz said on Twitter.

The director also noted that Al-Qaeda is increasing its outreach methods to go head-to-head against IS in terms of a recruitment drive, noting that this year Zawahiri managed to send out 10 messages in addition to three made by Hamza in 2016.

Just last month, the son of the former Al-Qaeda head released a video vowing revenge against the United States at home and abroad in response to Washington’s policies in Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia.

Hamza is believed to have been born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1991. Three years after his birth, Saudi authorities stripped Osama bin Laden of his citizenship after he issued fatwas, a ruling on a point of Islamic law, denouncing both the Saudi royal family and the United States.