Ali Soufan, the FBI’s lead al Qaeda investigator after 9/11, warns that a son of Osama bin Laden may be following in his father’s footsteps.
“He was that kid who exhibited leadership skills early on,” appearing in propaganda videos as a child, Soufan told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in a Sunday interview.
“In a way, he was a poster kid for al Qaeda. They featured him in so many of their propaganda. And for members of al Qaeda who were indoctrinated with these propaganda videos, he means a lot to them.”
Now a 28-year-old, Hamza bin Laden is listed by the FBI as a “specially designated global terrorist,” the same label his father once carried.
There are no known photos of bin Laden as an adult, but he is believed to look like his father — and sound like him.
“Interestingly enough, his recent message that came out, he delivered the speech as if it's his father delivering the speech, using sentences, terminology that was used by Osama bin Laden,” Soufan said.
He’s recorded four audio messages in two years, “60 Minutes” reports, and Soufan warns he could be uniting a jihadist movement.
“He's basically saying, America and American people, we're coming and you're gonna feel it. And we're gonna take revenge for what you did to my father. We're gonna revenge what you did in Iraq. We're gonna revenge what you did in Afghanistan,” Soufan added.
“The whole thing was about vengeance. He wants to avenge his dad.”
Soufan said Hamza bin Laden was educated by founding members of al Qaeda and has been groomed to be a leader in the terror group.
“Hamza himself, basically, told his father, I am ready. I am forged of steel now. I’m ready to go,” he added.
Al Qaeda now operates in a dozen countries and is estimated to have 20,000 followers in Syria alone, “60 Minutes” added.
Because of that, “al Qaeda is stronger than ever,” Soufan said.
“We killed Osama bin Laden. But his message lives,” he said. “I think we're not done with the bin Ladens yet.”