The youthful face of Hamza bin Laden, the rising star of al-Qaeda and the favorite son of the terrorist organization’s late leader Osama, appeared in a new video that was released by US intelligence.
Hamza played an active role in the propaganda released by the group in recent years, but he chose to stay away from the spotlight. The video, released by the CIA, showed a young man, who bears a striking resemblance to his father, among the senior members of al-Qaeda who groomed him to take over leadership of the group.
The video is the latest of the archive that was obtained from the 2011 US raid of Pakistan’s Abbottabad that left Osama bin Laden dead after a decade-long search in wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Osama’s journal, which was released by the CIA on Wednesday, revealed that he needed to train Hamza on his views on the “Arab revolts.”
His son was supposed to travel to Qatar, which Osama described as the “side qualified with bearing these responsibilities.”
“It is the safest side to avoid crises,” said Osama in his 228-page journal.
The journal, written by Osama bin Laden himself or one of his two daughters, was found by US intelligence during the Abbottabad raid. It revealed his great interest in the Arab Spring, whose developments dominated the pages of the journal. Osama was interested in the Libyan revolt and wrote of his support of and communication with its factions.
Hamza meanwhile was raised by his mother, known as Khayriya Saber, and other Qaeda members. His mother pushed him to learn the organization’s religious teachings, while Osama requested that his aides give Hamza more attention and care.
Hamza, who is close to 30, spent the past year sending propaganda messages to Qaeda supporters, calling on them to target Jews, Americans, westerners and Russians. He also urged his followers to wage lone wolf attacks through all possible means.