Saudi Arabia strips Osama bin Laden’s son of citizenship


March 01, 2019


A photograph circulated by the US State Department’s Twitter account to announce a $1 million USD reward for Al-Qaeda key leader Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden, is seen March 1, 2019. (State Department/Reuters)


By Arab News


RIYADH – Saudi Arabia has stripped citizenship from Hamza bin Laden, the son of former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the official gazette of the Kingdom reported.

The royal decree dated from November was published on Feb. 22 in Umm Al-Qura. The report said the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced the approval of the decree and that Hamza bin Laden had been removed from “official records.”

On Thursday, the US State Department said 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 with his father in Afghanistan before the September 11 attacks and spent time with him in Pakistan after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan pushed much of Al-Qaeda’s leadership there, Reuters reported.

He was introduced by the organisation’s new chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri in an audio message in 2015.

He has called for acts of terrorism in Western capitals and threatened to take revenge against the United States for his father’s killing, the State Department said in 2017 when it designated him a global terrorist.

Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in a raid on his compound in Pakistan in 2011. Hamza was thought to be under house arrest in Iran at the time, and documents recovered from the compound indicated that aides had been trying to reunite him with his father.

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