Saudi Arabia has announced revoking the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who has become an increasingly prominent figure in the terror network. The interior ministry said this in a statement published by the official gazette. The U.S. State Department said on Thursday it was offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the identification or location in any country of Hamza, calling him a key al Qaeda leader.
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 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan pushed much of al Qaeda's senior leadership there, according to the Brookings Institution. Saudi Arabia revoked Hamza bin Laden’s citizenship in November, according to a circular by the Interior Ministry quietly published Friday by the country’s official gazette. State-run media in the kingdom did not report on the decision.
Bin Laden is believed to have been born in 1989, the year of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, where his father became known among the mujahedeen fighters. Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies who studies al-Qaida and the Islamic State group said, "This is an example of history rhyming."
"He’s basically born right after al-Qaida is founded, so his life is totally consumed in the establishment, the formation of al-Qaida and the launching of its war against the West and America."