Saudi Arabia says it has revoked the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden, a son of deceased Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The announcement on March 1 comes a day after the United States said it was offering a $1 million reward for information leading to the identification or location of Hamza bin Laden.
Riyadh did not provide specifics on why it was stripping bin Laden of his citizenship, but it said it was revoked on February 22. It was only made public now.
The Saudis also stripped Osama bin Laden of his citizenship in 1994 while he was living in exile in Sudan.
Hamza bin Laden’s location remains a mystery. Speculation has centered on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran.
A U.S. State Department statement on February 28 said he is emerging as a leader of the Al-Qaeda terror organization.
A 2018 United Nations report highlighted that “Al-Qaeda propaganda continues to highlight a new generation of potential leaders, such as Hamza bin Laden…in an apparent attempt to project a younger image to its sympathizers.”
He is believed to be 30 years old.
The United States invaded Afghanistan in late 2001 because the Taliban-led government had protected Al-Qaeda and the elder bin Laden, who organized the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people.
The Taliban was driven from power and bin Laden, hiding in the northern Pakistani city of Abbotabad, was killed in a U.S. raid in 2011.
In a July 2016 audio recording, Hamza bin Laden threatened revenge against the United States for killing his father.
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.