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Al Qaeda 2.0: The rise of bin Laden’s son and his quest to remake the terrorist group

by AirTalk®

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A videotape released by Al-Jazeera TV featuring Osama Bin Laden is broadcast in Britain December 27, 2001. Getty Images/Getty Images

Al Qaeda’s influence has significantly weakened after years of global counterterrorism efforts and the death of its founding leader, Osama bin Laden.

In terms of reach and notoriety, the terrorist group has been outgunned by its terrorist rival, ISIS.

But intelligence and counterterrorism experts say that Al Qaeda is hoping for a reset, with bin Laden’s son now at the helm. Hamza bin Laden is the youngest of the 9/11 mastermind’s 23 children, but observers say that the twenty-something has been groomed since 2015 to take over.

Who is Hamza bin Laden? How does he differ from his father’s advocacy of jihad?


Bruce Riedel, director of the Brookings Institution’s Intelligence Project; former counterterrorism expert at the Central Intelligence Agency and the author of many books on terrorism, including “The Search for Al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future” (Brookings Institution Press, 2010)

William Braniff, executive director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland; former instructor at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center; he tweets @BraniffBill

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