Ali Soufan, the former FBI agent, who led the investigations on al Qaeda post-9/11, said that Osama bin Laden's son Hamza bin Laden (28) is determined to lead a "stronger, larger al-Qaida" and is "bent on avenging" his father's death. Soufan is said to possess the personal letters of Osama that were seized after the United States raid that killed bin Laden on May 1-2, 2011 in Pakistan's tribal area.
The news about Hamza's warning comes a day after WittyFeed reported about the US Intelligence warning about Pakistan-based terror outfits planning to launch attacks across India and Afghanistan. The question that comes to one's mind is will Hamza be Osama's replacement? After the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011, al Qaeda, the group that he headed has not been active in its operations. Is Hamza planning to revive his father's organization by first avenging his death?
The news has been trending across all news portals. Let's take a look at the what Soufan had to say.
Former FBI Agent, Ali Soufan, who is known for extracting the most vital information from al-Qaeda's toughest operatives without using harsh measures like waterboarding and electrocution, told the CBS News during a new episode of '60 Minutes' that Hamza had written those personal letters when he was 22 as he had not seen his father bin Laden for several years. According to Soufan, the letters reveal that Hamza, a young man and who adores his father, wants to carry on his murderous ideology.
During the talk on the new episode, Soufan described the content one of those letters from Hamza: "He tells him that...he remembers 'every look...every smile you gave me, every word you told me." Hamza also wrote, "I consider myself to be forged in steel. The path of jihad for the sake of God is what we live."
The letters that were seized during the raid, codenamed Operation Geronimo and Operation Neptune Spear, helicopter-borne US Navy SEALs at a compound in Abbottabad District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the intervening night of May1-2, 2011 have now been declassified. Abbottabad is a military garrison town some miles away from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
The Operation Geronimo that led to the killing of Osama was a success for the US military. There has been controversy over the question of Pakistan's approval for the raid. Officials in Islamabad have denied Pakistan's role in the raid and alleged that the US strike had breached the sovereignty of the state. The truth behind this still unknown as Pakistan continues to officially deny its role in the secret raid carried out by US Navy Seals. In fact, in the US military circle, only a handful of US military and senior officials around the then US President Barack Obama had knowledge about the planning of any such raid.
The killing of bin Laden created an upsurge across the world and the papers ran the headlines of his killing - the most awaited news for the world.
In the show 60Minutes, Soufan said that Hamza's potential as a leader was recognised years ago when he was still a boy. Hamza has been seen in propaganda videos, sometimes holding a gun. On this, Soufan elaborates, "He was a poster kid for the al Qaeda...and for members of al-Qaida, who were indoctrinated with these propaganda videos, he means a lot to them."
On January 5, 2017, the US State and Treasury Departments designated Hamza bin Laden as a global terrorist. In order to keep terrorists from using the U.S. financial system, the State Department adds clear suspects to its list of global terrorists. Hamza was declared a member of the group by the current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Following this, the US named Hamza a specially-designated global terrorist" - the same classification bin Laden had.
The news about the revenge has been trending, however, the reactions so far have been limited. A twitter account by the name, Agenda of Evil, called the revenge promise "sick".
Soufan while commenting on the similarities between the father and the son, Soufan said that Hamza sounds like his father. "His recent message that came out, he delivered the speech as if it's his father...using sentences, terminology that was used by Osama bin Laden," said Soufan.
Ali Soufan is known for not using torture as a means of interrogation. Commenting on the similarities between the father and the son, Soufan said that Hamza sounds like his father. "His recent message that came out, he delivered the speech as if it's his father...using sentences, terminology that was used by Osama bin Laden," said Soufan.
The former FBI Special Agents will be discussing his new book titled, 'Anatomy of Terror: From Bin Laden to the Rise of Islamic State', on this Sunday, May 14, 2017 on CBS News. Watch the show to know more about the details on the subject.