Regarded as Osama bin Laden’s favorite son, Hamza has been trained since his childhood to succeed his father, executed by a US command in Pakistan in 2011. On previous recordings he had urged the jihadists to unite and attack the West.
The Syrian branch of Al Qaeda, the so-called Al-Nusra Front, which began intervening in the Syrian civil war in 2013, announced last year that it was relinquishing its link to Al Qaeda and adopting a new name, the Fateh al Sham Front.
The organization, mainly composed by Syrians, fought with several rebel groups against the regime of Bashar al Assad.
Al Qaeda is rival of another Sunni radical group, the Islamic State (ISIS), which is also involved in the Syrian conflict.
In the message released Thursday by jihadist websites, Hamza bin Laden calls on his “Muslim brothers from Indonesia to the Maghreb to join the jihad in order to stop the aggression of the crusaders and rafida,” a term pejorative to refer to the Shiites.
“The jihadists need so much help from all Muslims to continue” the battle, he added, stating that such aid can be both financial and material.
Bashar al Assad is a member of the Alawite minority, a branch of Shi’ite, and in his war against the rebels and jihadists, receives military support from the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah and Iran, the great Shi’ite power in the region.
In May 2016, Hamza bin Laden had already asked “the Islamic nation to focus on jihad in Syria and on the unification of the ranks of the mujahideen,” the fighters who wage the holy war.
According to several analysts, the young man, who has appeared from his childhood in the propaganda of Al Qaeda, is preparing to take command of the organization and, taking advantage of the recent military defeats of the ISIS, to try to unite the jihadists of the whole world.
The Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri is the current leader of Al Qaida , after succeeding Osama bin Laden.
In January 2017, the US State Department inscribed Hamza bin Laden on his black list of “international terrorists.”