In Brief

Son of Osama bin Laden marries daughter of 9/11 hijacker

Bin Laden family confirm union and warn that newlywed is aiming to avenge his father’s death

Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qa’eda leader, has wed the daughter of the lead 9/11 hijacker, according to media reports.

In an interview with The Guardian, Osama bin Laden’s half-brothers said their half-nephew has married into the family of Mohammed Atta, who flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Hamza holds a senior position within al-Qa’eda and has has sworn revenge for his father’s death in a US raid in 2011, they added.

“We have heard he has married the daughter of Mohammed Atta,” said Ahmad al-Attas, son of Osama bin Laden’s mother, Alia Ghanem. “We’re not sure where he is, but it could be Afghanistan.”

Hamza, believed to be around 29 years old, “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”, in Pakistan, when he was killed, says The Guardian. 

The newlywed has been married at least once before and had a son, who was recently “martyred” at the age of 12, reports The Times.

His latest marriage suggests that al-Qa’eda continues to be organised around Osama bin Laden’s legacy, says The Guardian.

“What they would say is that 9/11 alumni remains very viable and very real even 17 years after the fact,” Martin Chulov, a journalist for the paper, told CBS News.

Letters supposedly written by Osama bin Laden that were seized when he was killed suggested he was grooming Hamza to replace him. Hamza has since made public statements urging followers to wage war on Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv.

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

“If Hamza was in front of me now, I would tell him: God guide you. Think twice about what you are doing. Don’t retake the steps of your father. You are entering really negative and horrible parts of your soul.”

The US State Department added Hamza to its Specially Designated Global Terrorist list last year 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”, according to CBS News.

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