Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza is poised to lead al Qaeda years after his father’s death, personal letters seized in the raid that killed bin Laden have revealed.
Now, Hamza is about 28 years old, but he wrote one of the letters to his father when he was 22.
A former FBI agent who has read the documents, which are now declassified, said that Hamza seems motivated and prepared to avenge his father.
Ali Soufan was an agent who also served as the bureau’s lead investigator of al Qaeda after 9/11. He said bin Laden’s son was seen as the next possible leader of the terrorist organization when he was just a child, CBS News reported.
Principal among Hamza’s messages is his desire for revenge.
‘He’s basically saying, “American people, we’re coming and you’re going to feel it. And we’re going to take revenge for what you did to my father…Iraq…Afghanistan”…the whole thing was about vengeance,’ Soufan said.
For a new episode of 60 Minutes, Soufan explained the importance of the personal letter, despite the fact that when Hamza wrote it he had not seen his father for years.
‘He tells him that…he remembers “every look…every smile you gave me, every word you told me. I consider myself to be forged in steel. The path of jihad for the sake of God is what we live,”‘ Soufan said about Hamza.
Hamza has been a prominent figure in several propaganda videos for al Qaeda, even as a young boy. He was filmed calling for terrorist attacks on London, Washington and Paris in an audio message released by the organization in 2015.
He has recorded four of theses types of messages in the last two years.
This January, Hamza was placed on a State Department terror watch list and named a ‘specially designated global terrorist’ – the same classification Osama had.
‘He was a poster kid for the al Qaeda…and for members of al Qaeda, who were indoctrinated with these propaganda videos, he means a lot to them,’ Soufan said.
Soufan said Hamza also uses the same terminology and sentences that his father once used.
Osama was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011, by US Navy SEAL Team Six.
Following his death, dozens of letters written by him to his family and senior members of al Qaeda were released.
Senior intelligence officials claimed that some revealed he had been grooming his son to take over the terror group. In one letter, Hamza’s mother even implored her son to follow in his ‘father’s footsteps.’