Former Navy SEAL Rob O'Neal, a contributor to Fox News who was on the team credited with killing Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, said today that the U.S. intelligence community is currently underestimating Al Qaeda while focusing on the Islamic State terrorist organization. O’Neal told Fox News host Steve Doocy this morning that Al Qaeda shares the same goals as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State. “They want to live like the prophet Muhammed did,” said O’Neal in reference to the goals of political Islam. O’Neal warned that Al Qaeda “has more people in more countries” than other Islamic terrorist organizations linked to the militant side of Wahabi Sunni Islam.
O’Neal was a member of the SEAL team that killed Bin Laden in 2011 in a daring raid in Pakistan. The team captured documents, computers, and other materials that have been used to track down Bin Laden’s confreres.
Al Qaeda is worthy of the attention of the United States, O’Neal said, and noted that it currently has at least 10,000 combatants fighting in Syria as part of the Al Nusra Front terrorist organization. He spoke to Doocy after one of the surviving sons of the fallen leader of Al Qaeda has vowed to avenge his father’s death. Hamza bin Laden was quoted in an audio recording of a 21-minute speech entitled “We Are All Osama.” According to the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks Islamist and white supremacist organizations, the young Bin Laden 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."
Documents recovered from bin Laden's compound and published by the United States in 2015 are believed to show that efforts were underway to reunite him with son Hamza, who had been held under house arrest in Iran.
The twenty-something Hamza was with his father in Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks and also spent time with him in Pakistan after the US pushed much of Al-Qaeda's senior leadership to the latter country. Hamza was introduced by Al Qaeda’s new chieftain, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a 2015 audio message last year. SEAL team member O’Neal said that the younger Bin Laden is useful in fundraising for the terrorist organization. According to Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution, Hamza is a dangerous and articulate face for Al Qaeda. O’Neal said that Hamza’s presence bolsters the Al Qaeda brand through his connection to his fallen father.
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