GettyImages-Osama Laden
A picture of late Osama bin Laden from a video footage recorded at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan and aired by the Qatar-based satelite TV station al-Jazeera 07 October 2001. The U.S. government on Thursday announced $1 million reward for tracking down Hamza bin Laden, the new leader of al-Qaida and son of Osama Laden. AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. government has announced $1 million as a reward for tracking down the son of the late terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

The State Department’s notice on Thursday said the reward would be for locating Hamza bin Laden in any country.

The announcement also said Laden’s son has taken over the leadership of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group.

“We do believe he's probably in the Afghan-Pakistan border and... he'll cross into Iran. But he could be anywhere though in... south-central Asia,” said Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Michael Evanoff.

In 2017 January, Hamza bin Laden was declared a “specially designated global terrorist. In a series of audio and video messages, the young Laden was urging attacks against the U.S. and its allies.

In May 2011, his father Osama was killed in a U.S. military raid at Abbottabad in Pakistan. Al-Qaeda was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Osama’s favorite son

Believed to be about 30 years old, Hamza married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the man who hijacked one of the four commercial aircraft used in the 2001 terror attacks at the World Trade Center towers in New York.

Some letters seized from the compound of Osama Bin Laden indicated that he wanted Hamza, his favorite son, to take over the leadership of Al-Qaeda and become its supremo.

Young Hamza believed to have spent many years in Iran with his mother. Some other reports speculate that he had lived in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Syria.

Hamza's secret wedding was made public by the CIA in 2017.

Saudi strips citizenship

Recently, Saudi Arabia's interior ministry notified that it has stripped Hamza Bin Laden’s citizenship. In an audio message in March 2018, he urged citizens of Saudi Arabia to wage jihad against their monarchs.

Concern has been growing among US counter-terrorism officials that Hamza Bin Laden may become a rallying point for a revitalized Al-Qaeda.

After Osama’s killing in Pakistan, Al-Qaeda was eclipsed by the rise of another fanatical group, the Islamic State (IS).

Western intelligence figures, including MI6 chief Alex Younger, warn that Al-Qaeda threat is still alive.

It may be keeping a low profile to reorganize and may be planning virulent attacks against the West and allied governments in the Middle East and Africa.

“Al-Qaeda has been relatively quiet, but that is a strategic pause, not a surrender,” reminded U.S. Co-ordinator for Counter-terrorism Nathan Sales.