Bin Laden's Son Attacks U.S.-Saudi Arabia Relationship in New Al-Qaeda Video as Saudi Crown Prince Tours America

As Saudi Arabia’s young Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman tours the United States, the son of Osama bin Laden is taking aim at the alliance between Washington and Riyadh.

Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza has long been viewed as the heir apparent of Al-Qaeda. Despite being relatively hidden from view, he has taken a lead role in the extremist group’s propaganda efforts. Part of that is an extensive video series attacking the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia, and calling for the overthrow of the Saudi monarchy because of it.

In the most recent video, released Saturday, Hamza bin Laden discusses a 1945 meeting between Ibn Saud, the father of the current Saudi king, and then-President Franklin Roosevelt. The trip took place as World War II was drawing to a close and Roosevelt traveled back from the Yalta Conference, where world leaders made plans to carve up postwar Europe. On his way back to Washington, Roosevelt stopped to speak with leaders in Egypt, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. It was the first time a U.S. president had met with a Saudi king.

According to Hamza bin Laden, the meeting established Saudi Arabia’s dependence on the U.S. and allowed the occupation of Muslim lands by infidels and crusaders.

“The meeting of Abd al-Aziz with Roosevelt was not ordinary, but rather was a dangerous and fateful meeting that dragged the Islamic Ummah into calamities and disasters,” Hamza said in a video, a translation of which was released by the SITE Intelligence Group. “Ibn Saud agreed to allow American ships, and in using ports of the Land of the Two Holy Places as a large American air base, and became a region for the American army for a period of five years.

935015384 From left: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on March 20. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

“Thus, Roosevelt and Ibn Saud established the foundations of a Saudi-American relationship, which continues to this day and which has caused the occupation of the Land of the Two Holy Places, and the entry of it by army units and battalions, and which participated in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in the region,” Hamza continued.

In the video, which was published by Al-Qaeda’s As-Sahab Media Foundation, Hamza bin Laden cites State Department documents as proof of the strength of the U.S.-Saudi alliance. The video does not mention the current state of U.S.-Saudi relations directly, but Hamza does say that Ibn Saud’s “sons and grandchildren still walk on the same path as their father.”

Experts said the video series was another sign that Hamza is following in his father's footsteps. 

"Hamza is going back to the tried-and-true playbook his father pioneered. The Saudi royal family rules over the two holiest cities in Islam and enjoys tremendous legitimacy among Muslims. As Osama bin Laden discovered, the best way to attack them was thus to tie them to the United States, which is often seen as an enemy of Islam," Chris Meserole, a Middle East expert at the Brookings Institution, told Newsweek. "Now that [Mohammad bin Salman] has cozied up to the Trump administration, Hamza’s doing his dad proud by trying to use the Saudi-U.S. relationship against him." 

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is currently on a tour of the U.S., where he met a variety of political leaders and pledged to purchase more military equipment from the U.S. 

Osama bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia, and some argued that the Saudi government aided his terrorist network. Last week, a New York district judge determined that Saudi Arabia could be held responsible in U.S. court for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack that the elder bin Laden organized. The relatives of hundreds of people who died in the terrorist attacks filed lawsuits against the Saudi government, claiming it helped support Al-Qaeda by funding charities that supported Islamic militants.