The recent news of the demise of Hamza bin Laden, the favorite son of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, appears to be a major blow to Al-Qaeda’s global ambitions. At the time of the writing of this report, Al-Qaeda high command has not confirmed the killing of the younger bin Laden in their official As-Sahab media. Allegedly, Hamza was recently killed somewhere on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border at the age of 30. The heir-apparent of bin Laden was also considered to be the future of Al-Qaeda and his death under still unknown circumstances is, indeed, a blow to Al-Qaeda’s future prospects. The US government broke this news on August 2 but refrained from providing further details describing how, where, and by whom he was killed. Even if the US government or any other sources reveal the conditions under which he was killed, the matter of concern is how Al-Qaeda Central will cope with and respond to his death, and what be their future strategy will be in dealing with this loss.
Dr. Farhan Zahid earned his PhD in Terrorism Studies from Vrije University Brussels (VUB), Brussels, Belgium. He writes on counter-terrorism, al-Qaeda, Pakistani al- Qaeda- linked groups, ISIS, Islamist violent non-state actors in Pakistan, jihadi ideologies and the Afghan Taliban. He authored "Roots of Islamic Violent Activism in South Asia", (2014), "From Jihad to al-Qaeda to Islamic State", 2015; and "The Al-Qaeda Network in Pakistan", (2015).