Schlagwort-Archive: American

Will Taliban Hostage Bowe Bergdahl Be Released Soon?

by Florian Flade

Bowe Robert Bergdahl left his military outpost in Paktika Province on June 30 2009. Hours later he was captured by the Taliban and is since then held hostage by the Haqqani group in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Bergdahl who is considered to be the only U.S. soldier currently held by enemy forces in Afghanistan or Pakistan, appeared in at least five propaganda videos released by the Taliban. In the videos Bergdahl spotting a full grown beard, is seen urging the U.S. government to fulfill the demands of the hostage takers – the release of Pakistani scientist Aafia Sidiqi, the payment of 1 Million US-Dollars and the release of 21 Taliban militants held by the U.S. and Pakistan.

As U.S. media is reporting now there is a deal underway securing the release of a „Westerner“ from Taliban captivity. On January 31 the Obama ddministration briefed Senate leaders on a transfer deal. Five high-ranking Taliban prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay Prison are about to be sent to Qatar where they shall be held under house arrest.

Among the released are the Taliban´s former interior minister Mullah Khair Khowa, Noorullah Noori, a former governor in northern Afghanistan and former commander Mullah Fazul Akhund.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein meanwhile confirms a prisoner swap as reported by the Foreign Policy Magazine. Feinstein said the deal involved the trade of one Westerner for the five Taliban leaders. She also confirmed the name of the Westerner in question but FP Magazine did not report the name.

Most likely the Westerner about to be exchanged for the Taliban prisoners is the 25 year-old POW soldier Bowe Bergdahl. The only other Western prisoner currently held by Taliban elements in the region is a the American Warren Weinstein kidnapped by Islamists in Pakistan last year and also believed to be held in the Waziristan region of Pakistan.


UPDATE: American Jihadist Omar Hammami Fears For His Life

by Florian Flade

Omar Hammami (right) and fellow American Jihadi Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax in Somalia

Two days ago a unusual video emerged on Jihadi Internet forums – an American terrorist bases in Somalia fearing for his life threatened by former comrades. “To whom ever it may reach from the Muslims”, Hammami says in the new video message, “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.” 

(by the way: the video message seems to have been recorded in the same location Omar Hammami was posing in for some picture he took several weeks ago with a fellow American Jihadist Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax from Minneapolis – see picture above)

Omar Hammami, born and raised in the U.S., immigrated to Somalia in 2006 and since then acted as the fighters „Abu Mansoor al-Amrikki“ with the Islamist movement „Harakat Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahidin“ (HSM). Hammami was featured in a number of propaganda tapes coming from Somalia urging fellow Muslims in the U.S. to join the Jihad and travel to East Africa. Several young Somali men from the Minneapolis area followed to American Jihadist´s calls and made their way to Somalia.

Why is Omar Hammami who is wanted by the U.S. as an international terrorist, now fearing fellow Islamists could hunt him down and kill him? From what is known about the current situation in Somalia, foreign militants – especially Westerners – are increasingly suspected of being spies by Al-Shabaab. Since foreign fighters from the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East are rushing to Somalia to join the Jihad the number of American drone strikes rose too. And according to some African media reports, there is a division within Al-Shabaab over the question of the foreign Al-Qaida militants.

Numerous militants including Al-Qaida operatives were killed by the CIA drone attacks in the past months. Al-Shabaab therefore reacted nervously, investigating the background information of foreigner coming to join their ranks. According to European intelligence sources some foreign Jihadis have even been executed by Al-Shabaab as alleged spies. Among these victims of the spy-hunt were North Africans, Kenyans and a Somali man from Europe.

Meanwhile Al-Shabaab released a statement about Hammami´s video message and denied the American was in danger of being killed. „Al-Shabaab was surprised about the video attributed to the Brother Abu Mansoor al-Amrikki, which was published on the Internet, and states that the brother Abu Mansoor is afraid that “his life threatened by Al-Mujahidin” according to the published video“, the statement reads.

Further the Somali Jihadi group declares: „Until the investigations are complete about the meaning and motives of this video, Al-Shabaab underscores that everything stated in this video is not true at all, and life of the brother is not threatened by Al-Shabaab.“

So why has Omar Hammami released the disturbing video message that is now causing debate among Online Jihadis?

It is possible that the differences Hammami is talking might be due to his opinion on how Al-Shabaab should expand its Jihad. The more radial elements within the group are promoting the idea to take the fight to neighboring countries like Kenya and Ethiopia. Possible Hammami opposed these plans.

American Jihadi Omar Hammami Fears For His Life

by Florian Flade

American Jihadi Omar Hammami – „I feel my life is in danger“

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.