- Analysts previously discovered several letters in which bin Laden corresponded with Hamza and other leaders within the terrorist network. Some of the letters were later declassified and published.
- In one of the letters, bin Laden urged his son “to leave the region as soon as possible” and go to Karachi, Pakistan, where he would be provided with identification materials that could “help you along the road.”
- In a letter in 2009, a 22-year-old Hamza wrote to his father that he missed him “very much” and hoped to reunite “sooner rather than later.”
- “Eight consecutive years. My eyes still remember the last time they saw you,” Hamza wrote, referring to when bin Laden left when he was 13-years-old.
A letter written by former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to his late son, Hamza bin Laden, revealed how he was grooming him to be the likely heir to the terrorist organization.
US intelligence analysts studied a trove of material from the 2011 raid against Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where the terrorist leader was killed by US Navy SEALs. Analysts discovered several letters in which bin Laden corresponded with Hamza and other leaders within the terrorist network. Some of the letters were later declassified by US agencies and published.
In one of the letters, Osama bin Laden urged his son “to leave the region as soon as possible” and go to Karachi, Pakistan, where he would be provided with identification materials that could “help you along the road.”
“A person will come to receive you, and if it was possible to leave on a cloudy day and in an unknown car, it would be better,” Osama bin Laden wrote. “The most important thing is to abide by security aspects, leaving any commitments and going as soon as you can.”
“The father was delighted by your letter, and he asks God that he will benefit from you, and hopes to meet with you, to take some of his experience by both the easy and the hard ways,” Osama bin Laden continued.
He added that he had “prepared a lot of work” for Hamza.
The correspondence did not originate exclusively from Osama bin Laden. In a letter written in 2009, a 22-year-old Hamza wrote to his father that he missed him “very much” and hoped to reunite “sooner rather than later.”
“Eight consecutive years. My eyes still remember the last time they saw you,” Hamza wrote, referring to when Osama bin Laden left when he was 13-years-old.
“My beloved father, I announce to you that I and everyone (I and my brothers) … are following on the same path, the path of jihad,” Hamza added.
Hamza , who was in his early 30s, was reportedly killed in an unknown operation sometime within the last two years, according to US officials cited in The New York Times . Details of his reported death remain unclear, as President Donald Trump demurred questions from reporters on Thursday.
Family members of Osama bin Laden gave interviews in which they denounced the terrorist leader and claimed they were initially unaware of Hamza’s interest in the organization’s affairs.
“We thought everyone was over this,” Hassan, Hamza’s uncle, said in The Guardian . “Then the next thing I knew, Hamza was saying, ‘I am going to avenge my father.'”
Hamza was considered to be bin Laden’s favorite son and was being prepared to lead the terrorist group, according to a 2017 study published by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy.
“It is true that Hamza has never fought on the frontlines something of which, as is seen in his letters to his father from captivity, he himself is painfully aware,” Ali Soufan, the study’s author and a former FBI special agent, wrote. “This distinguishes him from the elder bin Laden, whose warrior myth was built on his exploits against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.”
“But it is not as much of a weakness as might be thought,” Soufan added. “Hamza is not coming out of thin air; he is the favorite son of the most famous jihadi in history. And in a culture where leadership typically descends through a bloodline, pedigree trumps experience.”