U.S. offers $1 Million bounty for Hamza bin Laden

ISICRC Staff

 

The United States has put up a $ 1 million bounty to obtain information that would lead to the arrest Hamza bin Laden, the son of former al-Qaeda leader. At the same time, the Saudi Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Saudi Arabia has stripped him of his citizenship.

According to US officials, Hamza bin Laden has now become the key figure in al-Qaeda’s leadership. Hamza, now 30, is widely regarded as successor to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian ideologue who took over as Al-Qaeda leader following the 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad where he was killed. In the summer of 2015 Hamza emerged, only to spur al Qaeda supporters and affiliates to retaliate against the United States and the Western countries in avenging his father’s death.

Javad Larijani, a former Khomeiniist regime envoy to Canada and top advisor to Supreme Leader Khamenei has touched on the movement of al-Qaeda members in Iran: “Al-Qaeda elements who were traveling from Saudi Arabia wanted to go to Afghanistan or elsewhere with either traveled through Iran (air or ground), requesting that we do not stamp their passports, because if the Saudi government found out that we are coming to Iran, we will be in trouble. Our government agreed not to stamp them because they were in transit. They would be there for two hours, then they’d pass through; anyhow, information about their comings and goings was at hand.”

During a 2017 speech at the White House, President Trump referred to the ties between Al-Qaeda and the Khomeiniist regime, in order to establish the rationale behind the decertification of the JCPOA. He said: “The regime harbored high-level terrorists in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, including Osama bin Laden’s son. In Iraq and Afghanistan, groups supported by Iran have killed hundreds of American military personnel.”

Then in 2017, the CIA declassified a trove of documents recovered from the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. Some of those included information on Hamza bin Laden being under the protection of the Khomeiniist regime and how he got married in Iran. Among other activities, outlined in a 19-page document, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards in Tehran armed Al Qaeda in order to attack U.S. targets.

Hamza, his half brothers and sisters, their mothers, and the al-Qaeda clerical and military leaders first turned up in Iran in 2002, where they were moved into a heavily-guarded compound in Tehran that the Quds Force had provided to them. And though per their agreement, the Quds Force had delivered the necessary funding and weapons, in order to target U.S. troops, the Bin Laden and Al Qaeda members’ positions was rather precarious. To the Quds Force they had become nothing more than bargaining chips that they would persistently offer the U.S.; Bin Laden, his relatives and the rank and file of Al Qaeda were offered up to the U.S. on numerous occasions, as a straightforward swap for members of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), an Iranian radical group who had fled Iran in the early 1980’s, after their leaders fell out with the Khomeiniist regime leaders and moved to Iran, under Saddam’s protection.

Given Tehran’s track record in rampant human rights violations however, their guarantee that the MEK members would not be tortured and that international human-rights statutes would be observed, rang hollow and the Bush Administration, rightly, did not believe them.

Finally, in 2010, after al-Qaeda in Pakistan resorted to kidnapping an Iranian diplomat to force Tehran’s hand, the Quds Force relented and allowed the bin Laden family to leave Tehran; Hamza and his mother to then moved to Qatar. Instead the Quds Force insisted they cross into Pakistan. Finally, in April 2011, al-Qaeda’s military chief in Waziristan gave Hamza the green light to visit his father in Abbottabad. Shortly after leaving Hamza’s departure, the SEAL team raided the compound.

The WANTED poster was produced in English, Farsi, Urdu, Pashtu and Arabic.