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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/14/16

Keeping alive the ghost of Osama Bin Laden

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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A dubious website, the SITE Intelligence Group, has quoted Hamza bin Laden, a son of Osama Bin Laden, as threatening revenge against the U.S. for assassinating his father.

The SITE Intelligence Group referred to an audio message of Hamza posted online where he said:

"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.

"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.

What is SITE Intelligence Group?

According to Wikipedia, Bethesda, Maryland-based SITE Intelligence Group was known as the Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Institute from 2002 to 2008. SITE is led by the Israeli analyst Rita Katz.

Her group relies on government contracts and corporate clients and she is among the most controversial of the cyberspace monitors. While some experts praise her research as solid, some of her targets view her as a vigilante. Several Islamic groups and charities, for example, sued for defamation after she claimed they were terrorist fronts, even though they were not charged with a crime, the New York Times reported on September 23, 2004.

On 30 May 2008, The Daily Telegraph published an article reporting that SITE had wrongly identified footage from the post-apocalyptic computer game Fallout 3 as being created by terrorists considering a nuclear attack against the West.

According to the official website of the SITE Intelligence Group, Rita Katz is the Executive Director and founder of the SITE Intelligence Group, a non-governmental counterterrorism organization.

Katz has testified before Congress and in terrorism trials, and had personally briefed government officials at the White House, as well as investigators in the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Homeland Security. Born in Iraq and a graduate of Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University, Katz is fluent in Arabic.

This is not the first time the SITE Intelligence Group has released Hamza's statement. On August 16, 2015 the group referred to Hamza's video message where he called for lone wolf attacks in the US and in countries that are its allies.

Al-Qaeda hopes to renew its popularity by "reviving the brand" of Bin Laden, SITE Group's Executive Director Rita Katz said.

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 U.S.-led invasion pushed much of al Qaeda's senior leadership there, according to the Brookings Institution.

"Hamza provides a new face for al Qaeda, one that directly connects to the group's founder. He is an articulate and dangerous enemy," says Bruce Riedel of Brookings.

Osama bin Laden had 23 children. Hamza is the youngest son of Osama and Khairiah Sabar. His mother and two other wives were living at the Abbottabad compound when US forces launched "Operation Geronimo" in which Osama Bin Laden was allegedly killed. Hamza, believed to be in his mid-20s, was not at the residence at the time.

Was Osama Bin Laden really buried at sea?

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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