Dubai: Saudi Arabia on Friday announced the revocation of the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. The development comes after the United States government offered US dollar 1 million reward to whosoever gives credible information about Hamza, as a part of its ‘Rewards for Justice’ program.
If reports are to be believed, Saudi had revoked Hamza’s citizenship via a royal decree in November last year. However, the order became public only after US announced a $1 million bounty on his head following attack threats by him in revenge to the killing of his father in 2011. Assistant Secretary for (DS), US Department of State, Michael T Evanoff said that the announcement by the US resolves to use new tools to counter Al-Qaeda and its future leadership.
As per reports, it is under speculation for years that Hamza has been living in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria or under house arrest in Iran. In 2015, he had released an audio message urging terrorists in Syria to unite, claiming that the fight in the war-torn country paves the way to liberating Palestine. A year later, he urged the overthrow of the leadership in their native Saudi Arabia.
Hamza’s whereabouts has been a matter of dispute. He is believed to have spent years along with his mother in Iran. One of his half-brothers had said that his location is unknown but that he may be in Afghanistan. Named a ‘specially designated global terrorist’ in January 2017, he haas released audio and video messages calling for attacks against the US and its allies.
He had also said that Hamza married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in Al-Qaeda’s September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Osama bin Laden who was living in hiding in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad was killed by US special forces in 2011.