Saudi Arabia announced Friday it had revoked the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaida leader who has become an increasingly prominent figure in the terror network.
There was no immediate explanation why the royal decree stripping his citizenship, signed in November, was only becoming public now. However, the announcement comes after the U.S. government on Thursday offered a $1 million reward for information leading to his capture as part of its "Rewards for Justice" program. He also was added Thursday to a United Nations Security Council terrorism sanctions list.
The kingdom similarly stripped Osama bin Laden's citizenship in 1994 while he was living in exile in Sudan when Hamza bin Laden was just a child. Where he is now remains in question.
Saudi Arabia revoked Hamza bin Laden's citizenship in November, according to a circular by the Interior Ministry quietly published Friday by the country's official gazette. State-run media in the kingdom did not report on the decision.
Bin Laden is believed to have been born in 1989, the year of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, where his father became known among the mujahedeen fighters.
For Hamza bin Laden, now believed to be around 30, his father initially worried for his safety and thought to send him away for study, but his son instead "wants to get into the fight," Joscelyn said. He's then sent away for explosives training in Pakistan.
Hamza bin Laden began appearing in militant videos and recordings in 2015 as an al-Qaida spokesman.