Hamza bin Laden, the 30-year-old son of slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden, had his Saudi citizenship revoked after United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) Sanctions Committee blacklisted the terrorist leader Friday. The security council also described Hamza as the “most probable successor” of Al Qaeda’s present chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Apart from the UNSC blacklisting, the United States government, as a part of its ‘Rewards for Justice’ programme, had also announced a bounty of $1 million for any information that leads to the capture of Hamza.
What the UNSC Sanctions Committee said
The blacklisting of Hamza would mean that he is subjected to a travel ban, freezing of his assets along with an arms embargo.
When the UNSC Sanctions Committee freezes the assets of a targeted individual/entity, it is required that all United Nations member governments across the globe immediately freeze the funds, financial assets or any economic resources that come under direct or indirect ownership of the designated individual.
The travel ban against Hamza implies that his entry or transit in any of the countries that are UN members will be not be allowed in accordance with the travel sanctions.
In adherence to the arms embargo that prevents Hamza from acquiring arms and ammunition, all member countries are directed to block the channels that might directly or indirectly facilitate the sale of arms to the Al Qaeda leader. In addition to this, all member states are required to prevent the transfer of arms, ammunition, spare parts, and related paraphernalia to Hamza.
Non material support in the form of technical advice, assistance, logistic support, or training in relation to military activities to the designated terrorist by the citizens of UN member countries as well as via flag vessels or aircraft of these countries are also prohibited.
Hamza’s association with Osama Bin Laden
As per Reuters report, the US-based Brookings Institution claims Hamza was with his father (Osama) in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 attacks. The institution also mentions that Hamza spent time with his father in Pakistan after the NATO invasion of Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. In 2015, Hamza was introduced by Osama Bin Laden’s successor Ayman al-Zawahiri in an audio message.
In the light of the Islamic State occupying the centre stage in the terrorist world, analysts told Reuters that Hamza is seen as a fresh face with a younger voice, on whom Al Qaeda banks on to inspire the youth to join militancy.