WASHINGTON — The State Department has designated and sanctioned Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza as a global terrorist.
Hamza, who is in his mid-20s and bin Laden’s eleventh son, has been rallying millennials to jihad in audio messages over the past several months.
“The followers of the thought of Sheikh Osama, may Allah have mercy on him, which is represented by targeting the head of global disbelief that supports the Jews, have increased in number within a decade and a half, and became double in number,” Hamza bin Laden said in a July message.
“If you think that your sinful crime that you committed in Abbottabad has passed without punishment, then you thought wrong,” he added, referring to the U.S. raid in which his father was killed. “What is correct is coming to you, and its punishment is severe.”
Al-Qaeda senior leader Ayman al-Zawahiri announced on Aug. 14, 2015, that Hamza was an official member of the terror group.
Since then, bin Laden has called for “open-source jihad,” as al-Qaeda calls lone jihad, attacks against Washington, Paris and Israel. This year Hamza has also called on Saudi tribes to unite with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to wage war against Saudi Arabia.
“Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Hamza bin Laden is actively engaged in terrorism,” the State Department said. “Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and other governments.”
The department also issued a terrorist designation against Ibrahim al-Banna, an Egyptian AQAP leader who previously led Islamic Jihad in Yemen before becoming AQAP’s security chief. A $5 million reward is on his head.