Following several unclaimed terrorist attacks on Saudi territory over the past few months, yesterday the son of Al-Qaeda's founder Osama bin Laden urged Saudis to take discontent to the next level and to "overthrow" the kingdom's rulers in order to "free" themselves from US influence, SITE Intelligence Group reported Wednesday. In an undated audio message, Hamza bin Laden urged Saudi youth to join the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to "gain the necessary experience" to fight, according to SITE.
3) Hamza BinLaden's messages continue focus on global jihad issues (Palestine, KSA, Syria) in an ongoing effort to unify & head the movement— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) August 17, 2016
In a new recording released on Wednesday by the Al-Qaeda-linked As-Sahab media outlet, the heir of Osama bin Laden urged Saudi youth to join the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to “gain the necessary experience” in waging “intifada” to free the country from the Al-Saud family.
The undated audio message is Hamza bin Laden’s fourth speech since August 2015, as he tries to assert his influence over the global terrorist network. While Al-Qaeda has been headed by Ayman Al Zawahri since 2011, experts believe that Hamza is aiming for the top terrorist position. Furthermore, the resurgence the ‘heir’ comes amid rivalry among the notorious jihadist groups. Al-Qaida’s Syria affiliate Al-Nusra Front is a rival of the Islamic State, which itself is a former Al-Qaeda offshoot whose leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014 declared an Islamic caliphate across Iraq and Syria.
After he urged an uprising against the Saudi monarchy, Hamza went on to focus on global jihad issues, touching on the need to continue resistance in Palestine and Syria, as part of “an ongoing effort to unify and head the movement,” SITE’s Director Rita Katz said on Twitter.
Just last month, the son of the former Al-Qaeda head released a video vowing revenge against the United States at home and abroad in response to Washington’s policies in Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia.
Classified by the United States as the network's deadliest franchise, AQAP was formed in January 2009 as a merger of the Yemeni and Saudi branches of Al-Qaeda. Yemen is the ancestral home of Saudi-born Osama bin Laden.
As AFP reports, US intelligence officials have said that 23-year-old Hamza was the favorite son of the 9/11 mastermind who had been grooming him to take over as Al-Qaeda's leader.
On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death, experts have noted Hamza's increasing prominence among jihadists in comparison to that of Egyptian Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
A Saudi-led coalition is battling Iran-backed rebels in Yemen as well as Sunni jihadists who have joined AQAP and the Islamic State group. Earlier this week, Sadi forces killed over ten doctors working in a Doctors without Borders hospitral in Yemen, in an incident that has gotten zero US press coverage.