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UN blacklists Osama bin Laden's son, seen as successor of Al Qaeda

March 02, 2019 16:00 IST

The United Nations Security Council has designated Hamza bin Laden, the son of slain Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, under its sanctions list, describing the terrorist, thought to be based near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, as the “most probable successor” of the group’s current leader Aiman al-Zawahiri.

The UN Security Council’s 1267 ISIS and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee listed 29-year old Hamza bin Laden on Thursday, the day the United States announced a reward of up to $1 million for information about him.

 

Saudi Arabia also announced on Friday it had revoked the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden via a royal decree in November.

A Security Council press release said al-Zawahiri has announced that the Saudi Arabia-born Hamza bin Laden is an official member of Al Qaeda. Hamza bin Laden “has called for followers of Al Qaeda to commit terror attacks. Is seen as the most probable successor of al-Zawahiri,” the powerful 15-member Council said.

The sanctions list subjected him to a travel ban, assets freeze and an arms embargo.

An assets freeze under the Sanctions Committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.

The travel ban entails preventing the entry into or transit by all states through their territories by designated individuals.

Under the arms embargo, all states are required to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.

Just hours before the UNSC Sanctions Committee designated Hamza bin Laden, the US State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program announced a reward for up to $1 million for information leading to his identification or location in any country, saying he is emerging as a leader in the Al Qaeda franchise.

“Since at least August 2015, he has released audio and video messages on the Internet calling on his followers to launch attacks against the United States and its Western allies, and he has threatened attacks against the United States in revenge for the May 2011 killing of his father by US service members,” the State Department said.

In January 2017, the State Department had listed Hamza bin Laden as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, freezing all of his assets based in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons. The designation also prohibited US persons from engaging in transactions with him.

Yoshita Singh
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