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2019-03-03

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Security Related Matters
www.thehindu.com

The UN Security Council has designated Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden, under its sanctions list, calling him the “most probable successor” to al-Qaeda’s current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The UN Security Council’s 1267 ISIS and Al Qaida Sanctions Committee listed Hamza on Thursday, the day the U.S. announced a reward of up to $1 million for information about him.

Royal decree

Saudi Arabia also announced on Friday that it had revoked the citizenship of Hamza via a royal decree.

A Security Council press release said Hamza has called for followers of al-Qaeda to commit terror attacks and is seen as the most probable successor to Zawahiri.

The sanctions list subjects him to a travel ban, an assets freeze and an arms embargo.

An assets freeze under the Sanctions Committee requires that all states freeze the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals. The travel ban entails preventing the entry into or transit by all states through their territories by designated individuals. Under the arms embargo, all states are required to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materials of all types to designated individuals.

Just hours before the UNSC Sanctions Committee designated Hamza, the U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program announced a reward for up to $1 million for information leading to his identification or location in any country.

In January 2017, the State Department had listed Hamza as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, freezing all of his assets based in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons.

The designation also prohibited U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with him.

Stripped of citizenship

Earlier, on Friday, state newspaper Umm al-Qura reported that Hamza had been stripped of his Saudi citizenship on February 22 by royal decree. The paper quoted the kingdom’s Interior Ministry. The 15th of Osama’s 20 children and a son of his third wife, Hamza has been groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps since childhood.

The location of Hamza has been the subject of speculation for years, with reports of him living in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran. He is believed to have spent years along with his mother in Iran.

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