Saudi Arabia revokes citizenship of Hamza bin Laden

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Saudi Arabia stripped Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama, of his citizenship yesterday after America announced that it was offering up to $1 million for information on his whereabouts.

There was no immediate explanation why the royal decree stripping his citizenship - signed in November - was only becoming public now.

This wanted poster released by the U.S. Department of State Rewards for Justice program shows Hamza bin Laden. Where he is now remains in question.

"This is an example of history rhyming", said Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies who studies al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.

From documents obtained by USA intelligence at Osama bin Laden's safety house, it was discovered that the older bin Laden was grooming his son to replace him as leader of al-Qaida.

His father was killed in a U.S. military raid in Pakistan in May 2011. In addition, Hamza allegedly married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the "lead hijacker and a mastermind" of the 9/11 attacks.

He also threatened to target Americans overseas and urged Saudi tribes to unite with Yemen's Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to fight against Saudi Arabia, it said.

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According to reports, Hamza bin Laden has become an increasingly prominent figure in the terror network.

Hamza began appearing in terrorist videos and recordings in 2015 as an al-Qaeda spokesman.

One of Hamza bin Laden's half-brothers told The Guardian past year that Hamza married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In recent years, al-Qaeda was overshadowed by IS, which attracted global attention, fighters and funds, and carried out a number of attacks on Western targets and allies.

In a rare interview a year ago, Osama's mother Alia Ghanem said that her son had been radicalised as a young man.

Since then, any assets he may have in that country have been frozen and United States firms and individuals are banned from doing business with him.

A United Nations report published past year suggested both he and Ayman Al Zawahiri, who took over Al Qaeda after the death of Osama, "are reported to be in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas". "While there is as yet little evidence of a re-emerging direct global threat from Al Qaeda, improved leadership and enhanced communication will probably increase the threat over time".

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