Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaida leader, has married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in the 9/11 terror attacks, according to his family.
The union was confirmed by Osama bin Laden’s half-brothers during an interview with the Guardian. Ahmad and Hassan al-Attas said they believed Hamza had taken a senior position within al-Qaida and was aiming to avenge the death of his father, shot dead during a US military raid in Pakistan seven years ago.
Hamza bin Laden is the son of one of Osama bin Laden’s three surviving wives, Khairiah Sabar, who was living with her husband in a compound in Abbottabad, near a large Pakistani military base, when he was killed. He has since made public statements urging followers to wage war on Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv and is seen as a deputy to the terrorist group’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
“We have heard he has married the daughter of Mohammed Atta,” said Ahmad al-Attas. “We’re not sure where he is, but it could be Afghanistan.”
Western intelligence agencies have been increasingly focusing on the whereabouts of Hamza bin Laden over the past two years, seeing him as more likely than anyone else to galvanise followers. His marriage to the daughter of Atta, an Egyptian national, appears to confirm that the 9/11 alumni remains a central hub of al-Qaida and that the organisation itself continues to be organised around Osama bin Laden’s legacy.
“When we thought everyone was over this, next thing I knew was Hamza saying I am going to avenge my father,” said Hassan al-Attas. “I don’t want to go through that again.
“If Hamza was in front of me now, I would tell him: God guide you. Think twice about what you are doing. Don’t retake the steps of your father. You are entering really negative and horrible parts of your soul.”