On Thursday, the State Department officially designated former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s son, Hamza bin Laden, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) who is “actively engaged in terrorism.” Hazma bin Laden was announced by senior al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri as an official member of the terror group in August 2015 and has called for acts of terror against the United States and the west.
In a 2015 audio recording from al-Zawahiri, Hazma bin Laden can be heard calling for acts of terrorism in western capitals. In another audio message released by the terror group, the son of the man who orchestrated the September 11th, 2001 attacks on U.S soil threatened revenge on the United States and warned that Americans would be targeted both at home and abroad.
The State Department said that in 2015 Hazma bin Laden specifically called for ” lone offender attacks against U.S., French, and Israeli interests in Washington, D.C.; Paris, France; and Tel Aviv, Israel.”
In 2016, Hazma bin Laden “called on Saudi Arabian-based tribes to unite with al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in Yemen to wage war against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
According to the State Department statement, the son of Osama was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1989. Hazma’s mother, Khairiah Sabar, was one of Osama bin Laden’s wives that were killed in the 2011 raid on the Abbotabad compound in Pakistan the night 18 U.S. Navy SEALs captured and killed Osama bin Laden.
Sanctions are issued against those that are formally added to the SDGT list and the State Department says imposing such sanctions is “powerful” in the fight against terror.
“The imposition of sanctions by the United States against terrorists is a powerful tool,” the State Department statement said. “Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Hamza bin Laden is actively engaged in terrorism. Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and other governments.”