Bin Laden's son added to terror blacklist

The US added Hamza bin Laden, son and heir of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, to its terrorist blacklist on Thursday (January 5th), AFP reported.

Hamza, who is in his mid-20s, has become active as an al-Qaeda propagandist since his father's death in 2011.

According to letters found in the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan, Hamza wrote to the Saudi-born al-Qaeda leader asking to be trained to follow him.

A CIA analyst who examined the letters told AFP that in July 2009, when Hamza wrote the letter to his father's Abbottabad hideout, they had not seen each other for eight years.

But the elder bin Laden was making plans to send for his son, who was at the time under house arrest in Iran, and planned to groom him to become al-Qaeda's leader.

Since bin Laden's death, his Egyptian deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri has taken up the reins of the organisation, but Hamza has issued audio messages to supporters.

The State Department order lists Hamza bin Laden as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist," meaning that US citizens are forbidden from dealing with him, and freezing any assets under US jurisdiction.

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