Osama's son vows to keep fighting US, allies

DUBAI • The son of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has threatened revenge against the United States for killing his father, according to an audio message posted online.

Hamza bin Laden promised to continue the global militant group's fight against the United States and its allies in the 21-minute speech entitled We Are All Osama, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

"We will continue striking you and targeting you in your country and abroad in response to your oppression of the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and the rest of the Muslim lands that did not survive your oppression," Hamza said.

"As for the revenge by the Islamic nation for Sheikh Osama, may Allah have mercy on him, it is not revenge for Osama the person, but it is revenge for those who defended Islam."

Hamza, now in his mid-twenties, was at his father's side in Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks and spent time with him in Pakistan after the US-led invasion pushed much of Al-Qaeda's senior leadership there, according to the Brookings Institution.

Meanwhile, Nato leaders have agreed to deploy sophisticated surveillance aircraft to support the US-led fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said.

"We will provide Awacs support and the plan is to have them flying over international airspace and Turkey, and that will allow us to look into airspace in Iraq and Syria," Mr Stoltenberg told a news conference after a summit of the 28 Nato leaders in Warsaw.

Awacs are aircraft with powerful radar that allows them to monitor airspace for hundreds of kilometres around. They can also be converted into command posts to coordinate bombing raids and other air operations.

Separately, French President Francois Hollande called on Saturday for international action against an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, warning that the recent losses sustained by ISIS could embolden other extremist groups.

"We must... avoid a situation whereby as Daesh becomes weaker, other groups become stronger," Mr Hollande said on the sidelines of the Nato summit, using another name for ISIS. He singled out the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front as particularly standing to benefit from the US-led military campaign against its arch-rival.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2016, with the headline 'Osama's son vows to keep fighting US, allies'. Print Edition | Subscribe