NJOHSP assesses the recent uptick in propaganda from Hamza bin Ladin is an attempt to inspire sympathizers to execute attacks in the West, secure his position as a future al-Qa’ida leader, and attract supporters. Since Hamza’s public introduction in 2015, he has produced six audio messages—two were released in the past month.
- On May 13, Hamza bin Ladin, a son of Usama bin Ladin, released a 10-minute audio message, instructing lone offenders to attack the West. He prioritized attacking the United States, “Jewish interests,” NATO coalition members, and Russia, advising supporters to seek tactical guidance from Inspire—al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula’s English-language magazine.
- In May, al-Qa’ida declared Hamza a “Sheikh,” reaffirming his leadership role within the organization while also recognizing him as a religious figurehead. Additionally, Hamza emphasizes similar themes as Usama—namely, the liberation of Palestine, overthrowing the Saudi regime, and the importance of unity among the global Muslim community—indicating he aspires to lead the global jihadi movement, much like his father.
- Hamza’s call for unity among jihadi fighters is likely a renewed strategy to garner more supporters. In May 2016, he stated, “There is no longer an excuse for those who insist on division and disputes, now that the whole world has mobilized against Muslims.” Since ISIS declared its so-called “caliphate” in 2014, al-Qa’ida has been undermining ISIS’s legitimacy and attempting to recruit ISIS defectors, as well as new members.