Saudi Arabia has removed the citizenship of Hamza Bin Laden, the son of slain former al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, according to reports.
Reports say that the Gulf Kingdom’s leadership announced the decision on Friday, 1 March, in the country’s official Gazette newspaper, saying that Bin Laden’s citizenship had been revoked by royal decree back in November 2018, but that there was no explanation offered as to why it was made public now.
The decision comes as the United States has issued a $1 million reward for any information that leads to Mr. Bin Laden’s capture, amidst alleged concerns among US intelligence agencies that the younger Bin Laden has ambitions to follow in his late father’s footsteps by proclaiming a global jihad against the West and allied targets.
In a statement released on February 28, the US Department of State said that Hamza, “is emerging as a leader in the [Al-Qaeda] franchise.”
In 2015, Mr. Bin Laden released an audio message calling for unity among Jihadist fighters in Syria, saying that they should come together to focus on “liberating Palestine.” He also called upon Muslims around the world to continue attacking the US and its allies. Then, in 2017, he was branded a “specially designated global terrorist” by Washington.
Recently, the United Nations Security Council committee added Hamza to its sanctions list. In a statement, the committee explained its move was the result of Hamza being “given a more prominent role within al-Qaeda.” The decision subjects Hamza to an assets freeze travel ban and an arms embargo.