The son of Osama bin Laden has rebuilt Al Qaeda stronger and more dangerous than ever, a U.N. panel has warned.
The report by U.N. experts warns that another terrorist attack “bigger than 9/11” could be on the cards with Hamza bin Laden in charge.
Foxnews.com reports: The report found that Al Qaeda is still a global network showing resilience, and it is stronger than ISIS in places like Somalia, Yemen and South Asia — and its leadership in Iran has grown more prominent.
Further, bin Laden’s son — Hamza bin Laden — has “continued to emerge as a leadership figure in Al Qaeda,” the report said.
“Al Qaeda’s leadership demonstrates strategic patience and its regional affiliates exercise good tactical judgment, embedding themselves in local issues and becoming players,” it said.
Earlier this month, The Guardian reported that the 29-year-old Hamza, who has said he wants to avenge his father, is believed to have married the daughter of Mohammed Atta — the Egyptian national who hijacked and flew the first plane into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
While the U.N. said there is little evidence as yet of a direct global threat from Al Qaeda, “improved leadership and enhanced communication will probably increase the threat over time, as will any rise in the tendency, already visible in some regions, of ISIL supporters to join Al Qaeda.”
The report comes amid growing international concern about the civil war in Yemen between the Saudi-led coalition and the Iran-backed Houthis. Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) has gained a foothold in the south of the wartorn country amid the chaos in the country.
This month, an Associated Press investigation found that the Saudi-led coalition has been cutting secret deals with Al Qaeda fighters, paying some to leave cities and towns, allowing others to retreat with weapons and cash. Others were recruited to join the coalition. Participants in those agreement said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on drone strikes.
U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths has invited both sides of the conflict to meet in Geneva for talks in September.