Small Wars Journal

Born Into al-Qaida: Hamza bin Laden’s Rise to Prominence

Born Into al-Qaida: Hamza bin Laden’s Rise to Prominence by Jon Gambrell - AP

Years after the death of his father at the hands of a U.S. Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan, Hamza bin Laden now finds himself in the crosshairs of world powers.

 

In rapid succession in recent weeks, the U.S. put a bounty of up to $1 million on him; the U.N. Security Council named him to a global sanctions list, sparking a new Interpol notice for his arrest; and his home country of Saudi Arabia revealed it had revoked his citizenship.

 

Those measures suggest that international officials believe the now 30-year-old militant is an increasingly serious threat. He is not the head of al-Qaida but he has risen in prominence within the terror network his father founded, and the group may be grooming him to stand as a leader for a young generation of militants.

 

“Hamza was destined to be in his father’s footsteps,” said Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent focused on counterterrorism who investigated al-Qaida’s attack on the USS Cole. “He is poised to have a senior leadership role in al-Qaida.”

 

"There is probably other intelligence that indicates something's happening and that's what put this thing on the front burner," he said…

Read on.