Jessica Durando, USA TODAY
Jan. 6, 2017
The Obama administration imposed sanctions Thursday on Hamza bin Laden, a son of Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, saying he poses a risk to national security in the United States.
The State Department said in a statement that the younger bin Laden was added to its Specially Designated Global Terrorist list after he was “determined to have committed, or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security.”
The sanctions will deny him access to the U.S. financial system, the State Department said.
(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Hamza bin Laden was officially named an al-Qaeda member in 2014 by his father’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
In an audio message in 2016, Hamza bin Laden threatened revenge against the U.S. and warned Americans they would be targeted at home and abroad. In a 2015 audio message from al-Zawahiri, Hamza bin Laden called for acts of terrorism in Western capitals, according to the State Department.
Hamza bin Laden also has called for lone wolf attacks against the United States, France and Israel.
“Hamza bin Laden is actively engaged in terrorism,” the State Department said.
The sanctions, in addition to denying access to the U.S. financial system, “can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies or other governments,” the State Department said.
Hamza bin Laden was projected to be a future al-Qaeda leader but had not shown the operational or intellectual acumen to replace al-Zawahiri, SITE Intelligence group co-founder Rita Katz told The Independent, a British newspaper, in May.
Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda, was killed in 2011 in Pakistan after a raid by U.S. special forces on his compound. His death came 10 years after he masterminded the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
While Hamza bin Laden was “labeled a crown prince” after surviving the raid that killed his father and older brother Khlaed, he was “not a key figure within al-Qaeda,” Andreas Krieg, an analyst at King’s College in London told The Independent in 2016.
The State Department also imposed penalties Thursday against Ibrahim al-Banna, a senior member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Banna served as that group’s security chief and provided military and security guidance to its leadership.
He wrote a 2010 article in the militant group’s English-language magazine, Inspire, hailing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as virtuous and threatening to target Americans both domestically and abroad, according to the State Department.
Date Published: Jan. 5, 2017