by Florian Flade
An American Jihadi in Somalia is sending out a chilling message. Omar Hammami fears for his life after he allegedly broke with the Islamist group Al-Shabaab. Now he is hunted.
Five years ago Omar Hammami, a Alabama-born US-citizen, decided to become a Jihadi fighter. The American Islamist, son of a Syrien-born father and a American baptist woman, went to Somalia and joined the Islamist militia Al-Shabaab. Hammami had became the Jihadi militant “Abu Mansoor al-Amrikki”. The United States label Hammami a terrorist and accuse him of having ties to Al-Qaida.
Now it seems the American Jihadi fears for his life. On Friday a very unusual video message appeared on the Internet. In it, Omar Hammami is seen sitting in front of an Al-Qaida flag, a Kalashnikov rifle next to him. First Hammami speaks in Arabic, then switches to English.
“To whom ever it may reach from the Muslims”, Hammami says, “I record this message today because I feel my life is in danger by the Harakat Al-Shabaab al-Muhajidin due to some differences that occurred between us regarding the Shariah and the strategy.”
Hammami does not give any details on what might have occurred between him and the group he joined years ago. It is unclear wether he is about to face a possible execution by the Al-Shabaab Islamists.
Last year Omar Hammami had appeared at several ralleys held by Al-Shabaab and was even holding speeches on the occasion of Osama Bin Laden´s death in Pakistan in May 2011.
Al-Shabaab released several propaganda tapes featuring Hammami some years ago in which the American calls Western Muslims to join the Jihad in Somalia. Media reported especially about rap songs produced by Hammami and calling Muslim youths to fight Jihad.
A European intelligence source recently spoke to me about the Somali situation and said Al-Shabaab has become very suspicious regarding foreign fighters. Some fighters – especially from Kenya and Ethiopia – had been accused of being spies and were executed. Perhaps Hammami is now facing a similar fate.