US imposes terrorism-related sanctions against bin Laden son
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US imposes terrorism-related sanctions against bin Laden son

State Department says Hamza bin Laden poses ‘serious’ risk to national security after urging attacks on American, French, and Israeli targets

An undated image of the late al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden and his son, Hamza. (YouTube screenshot)
An undated image of the late al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden and his son, Hamza. (YouTube screenshot)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration imposed sanctions Thursday on a son of Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, saying the younger bin Laden poses a risk to US national security.

The State Department said Hamza bin Laden has been added to its Specially Designated Global Terrorist list after he was “determined to have committed, or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security.”

Hamza bin Laden was officially named an al-Qaeda member in 2014 by his father’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The State Department says the younger Laden — in a 2015 audio message — called for acts of terrorism in Western capitals. In an audio message last year, he threatened revenge against the US and warned Americans they would be targeted at home and abroad.

Hamza bin Laden also has called for lone wolf, or solo-operative, attacks against US, French, and Israeli interests in Washington, Paris and Tel Aviv.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a still image from a web posting by the terrorist organization's media arm, as-Sahab, July 27, 2011 (photo credit: AP)
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a still image from a web posting by the terrorist organization’s media arm, as-Sahab, July 27, 2011 (photo credit: AP)

“Hamza bin Laden is actively engaged in terrorism,” the State Department said, adding that terrorism designations deny individuals access to the US financial system and “can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other US agencies and other governments.”

Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011.

The State Department also announced penalties against Ibrahim al-Banna, a senior member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He served as that group’s security chief and provided military and security guidance to its leadership.

Al-Banna wrote a 2010 article in AQAP’s English-language magazine, Inspire, hailing the Sept. 11 attacks as virtuous, according to the State Department, and threatened to target Americans both domestically and abroad.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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