Saudi Arabia revoked the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden, son of late al-Qai’da founder Osama, as the United States announced a $1 million reward for information on his whereabouts. Riyadh took the step in November but only now made public the decision perhaps as a means to reinforce the American move. Analysts increasingly view Hamza as the emerging “crown prince of jihad,” who previously called for attacks on U.S. targets to avenge the 2011 killing of his father by American special forces in Pakistan as well as the overthrow of the House of Saud. The timing coincides with the demise of the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” that once spanned huge swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, and it could be that Washington is attempting to get ahead of the curve by thwarting the potential for al Qai’da’s resurgence. Notably, Hamza is believed to have married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in the 9/11 attacks that prompted the U.S. to intervene militarily in Afghanistan where at the time the Taliban was harboring Osama bin Laden.
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