The United States may not be done with bin Laden—Hamza bin Laden, that is. Five years after the U.S. assassinated Osama, his son has now threatened revenge in a new 21-minute audio message posted online titled “We Are All Osama,” vowing to continue al Qaeda’s fight against the U.S. and its allies.
“We will continue striking you and targeting you in your country and abroad in response to your oppression of the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and the rest of the Muslim lands that did not survive your oppression,” Hamza said.
“As for the revenge by the Islamic nation for Sheikh Osama, may Allah have mercy on him, it is not revenge for Osama the person but it is revenge for those who defended Islam.”
Documents recovered from bin Laden’s compound and published by the United States last year alleged that his aides tried to reunite the militant leader with Hamza, who had been held under house arrest in Iran.
Hamza, now in his mid-twenties, was at his father’s side in Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks and spent time with him in Pakistan after the U.S.-led invasion pushed much of al Qaeda’s senior leadership there, according to the Brookings Institution.
Introduced by the organisation’s new chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in an audio message last year, Hamza provides a younger voice for the group whose ageing leaders have struggled to inspire militants around the world galvanized by Islamic State.
“Hamza provides a new face for al Qaeda, one that directly connects to the group’s founder. He is an articulate and dangerous enemy,” notes Brookings’ Bruce Riedel.