HE’S the youngest son of former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and now he’s primed to claim his father’s legacy.
Known as the ‘crown prince of terror,’ an alarming audio message has been circulating on social media which purports to contain a message from the young man calling for lone wolf attacks against the West.
The audio clip has been shared around by al-Qaeda supporters on Twitter and is the first time propaganda produced by the terrorist group has presented Hamza Bin Laden as an official member, according to the BBC.
In the recording, he urges al-Qaeda members to move the war from Kabul, Gaza & Baghdad, to Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv.
He called it “the duty” of the group’s adherents to attack Jewish American interests globally and promoted the carrying out of lone wolf attacks to do so.
The message was recorded before the Muslim celebration of Ramadan in June but has only now been published online. Hamza has been absent from the media’s spotlight and the audio message has many concerned that it represents a conscience shift from the organisation to make him a more visible figure.
Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group, translated parts of the message on Twitter and speculated that al-Qaeda leadership are grooming the young man to take over.
The youngest son of Bin Laden, believed to be in his mid twenties, has been largely absent from the world’s media.
It was first suspected that Hamza was killed alongside his father in the raid by US marines on Osama’s Abbottabad compound with the White House even announcing the death before it was later revealed to be another of Bin Laden’s sons, 24-year-old Khaled.
In 2001 Al-Jazeera network broadcast footage of Hamza among Taliban fighters in Afghanistan when he was thought to be just 11-year-old. Documents found in Osama bin Laden’s compound when it was raided revealed that he was training his youngest to one day take the reins of the terrorist group, reports RT.
Despite the many years of separation, letters Hamza penned to his father show a deep bond between the pair.
“My beloved father, I was separated from you when I was a small child, not yet 13, but I am older now, and have attained manhood,” Hamza wrote in 2009.
“But what truly makes me sad,” he added, “is the Mujahidin legions have marched and I have not joined them.”
It is unclear if Hamza was ever able to reunite with Osama bin Laden before his death, but it is widely considered his father had high hopes of enacting some sort of succession plan.
A letter obtained by US authorities written by Hamza’a mother, Khairiyah, also encouraged him to follow in his “father’s footsteps”. So far the audio message is the only real clue that he plans to heed the maternal advice.
At the moment the world still knows rather little about Hamza Bin Laden. He may have earned himself a harrowing nickname, but it remains to be seen if he intends to live up to it.