Bin Laden's Son Marries Lead 9/11 Hijacker's Daughter, Says Family

The son of the late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden has married the daughter of the lead hijacker in the September 11th terror attacks, Mohammed Atta, according to a recent interview the family gave to The Guardian

The union was confirmed by Osama bin Laden’s half-brothers during an interview with The Guardian. Ahmad and Hassan al-Attas said they believed Hamza had taken a senior position within al-Qaeda and was aiming to avenge the death of his father, shot dead during a US military raid in Pakistan seven years ago.

Hamza bin Laden is the son of one of Osama bin Laden’s three surviving wives, Khairiah Sabar, who was living with her husband in a compound in Abbottabad, near a large Pakistani military base, when he was killed. He has since made public statements urging followers to wage war on Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv and is seen as a deputy to the terrorist group’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. -The Guardian

Hamza bin Laden. Photograph: AP

“We have heard he has married the daughter of Mohammed Atta,” said Ahmad al-Attas. “We’re not sure where he is, but it could be Afghanistan.”

“When we thought everyone was over this, next thing I knew was Hamza saying I am going to avenge my father,” said his brother, Hassan al-Attas. “I don’t want to go through that again.

Ahmad al-Attas, brother of Osama bin Laden. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Western intelligence agencies have been trying to track Hamza bin Laden's whereabouts for the past two years, according to The Guardian, as he is suspected to have become a "central hub of al-Qaida" as the organization itself "continues to be organised around Osama bin Laden's legacy," and may become galvanized around Hamza. 

Another son of Osama bin Laden, Khalid, was killed in a US raid in Abbottabad, while a third, Saad, was killed in a 2009 drone strike in Afghanistan. Letter seized from bin Laden's compound suggest Hamza had been chosen as his father's successor. 

Bin Laden’s wives and surviving children have returned to Saudi Arabia, where they were given refuge by the former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef. The women and children remain in close contact with Bin Laden’s mother, Alia Ghanem, who told the Guardian in an interview that she remained in regular touch with surviving family members. -The Guardian

Alia Ghanem at home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with a picture of her son Osama bin Laden. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian