Schlagwort-Archive: Minneapolis

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 Carries Out Suicide Bombing in Somalia

by Florian Flade

Two suicide bombers attacked an African Union (AU) base in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Saturday, October 29. According to the AU the assault which also involved several armed fighters failed. Both suicide bombers have detonated their explosives too early, the AU claims.

Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab on the other hand claims to have killed more than 80 Ugandan soldiers.

„In a fierce battle that lasted over two hours, the Mujahideen have yet again dealt another fatal blow to the African Crusaders“, a statement by Al-Shabaab reads, „Two martyrdom seekers infiltrated the AMISOM compound – the former metal factory – situated along the Industrial Road, near Mogadishu Stadium, and where divisions of the Ugandan soldiers and TFG militia were based, successfully killing the commander as he addressed the Ugandan forces along with several other soldiers.“

Two audio tapes of the alleged suicide bombers – Aden al-Ansari and Cabdi Salaam al-Muhajir – have also been released. Al-Muhajir („the immigrant“) speaks in fluent English and is described by Al-Shabaab as an American citizen.

„My brothers and sisters, do jihad in America, do jihad in Canada, do jihad in England, anywhere in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in China, in Australia – anywhere you find kuffar. Fight them and be firm against them!“, the suicide bomber says on his farewell tape.

He urges Muslims living in the West to join the Jihad abroad instead of „sit around and be a couch potato and just chill all day“.

Meanwhile in Minneapolis (Minnesota) Muslim community leaders say they have identified the suicide bomber as 22-year old Abdisalan Hussein Ali, one of 20 Somali men who left the city in November 2008 and traveled to Somalia. Abdisalan Hussein Ali´s voice on the audio tape was recognized by his friends.

If confirmed to be from the U.S., Cabdi Salaam al-Muhajir, would be the third American suicide bomber who carried out an attack in Somalia as a member of Al-Shabaab. Shirwa Ahmed from Minneapolis became the first American suicide bomber when he and four other bombers blew themselves up in October 2008 killing 28 people in the Somaliland and Puntland region.

Mohamad Beledi known as „Abdullah Ahmed“ is said to have carried out a suicide bombing against a AU base in Mogadishu in May. Two AU and one Somali soldier died as a result of the attack.

For years know U.S. counter-terrorism officials monitored the travel movements of young Somali-American men, especially from the Twin City Region (Minneapolis) who have joined the Jihad in Somalia. Dozens of men, many of them U.S. citizens and the children of refugees who have fled the Somali civil war in the 1990s, left the U.S. to participate in the fight against Ethiopian occupation forces or African Union troops in Somalia.

A number of these American Jihadis – including a White convert to Islam – died in Somalia, most of them were shot during gun battles. One of those Americans who joined Al-Shabaab is Omar Hammami aka „Abu Mansour al-Amrikki“, a Syrian-American born and raised in Alabama. He is believed to be a high ranking commander in the „Muhajirun“ unit of Al-Shabaab, consisting of foreign Jihadis.

American Omar Hammami Killed in Somalia?

by Florian Flade

Omar Hammami is the American face of the Somali Jihad. He was featured in various propaganda videos from the region and called other Americans to join the Islamist Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahidin Movement. Now rumors of his death are spreading after the latest government military offensive against Al-Shabaab.

Omar Hammami aka „Abu Mansour al-Amrikki“

Charismatic militants, Western Jihadis who left the safety of their homeland to fight alongside Islamist groups, are by far the most powerful recruiting tool of al-Qaida today. Especially American citizens, born and raised in a country whom the terrorist have declared their main enemy, are used by al-Qaida to promote propaganda and regional conflicts.

One of those recruiting and propaganda tools is Omar Hammami of Daphne, Alabamda. The 26 year-old American citizen, a son of a Syrian father and an American Christian mother, is the American face of the Jihad in Somalia. Hammami became a fundamentalist Salafi Muslim in college and dropped out of school later. In 2004 he moved to Canada and married a Canadian Somali woman. The following year, in June 2005, the couple moved to Egypt and settled first in Alexandria, then in Cairo, where their daughter was born. Hammami told is parents he wants to study at Cairo´s Al-Azhar University.

In November 2006 Hammami traveled from Egypt to Somalia to visit members of his wife´s family. According to his father, Omar Hammami´s passport was stolen and he then stranded in Somalia. Eventually he stayed in the country and somehow joined the militant Al-Shabaab Movement in their fight against Ethiopian troops who had invaded Somalia back then. Al-Jazeera interviewed the American Jihadi in October 2007 in the Somali bush. Hammami was dressed in a military uniform, hiding his face under a scraf wrapped around his head. He called himself „Abu Mansour the American“.

Al-Shabaab – which allied itself with al-Qaida by swearing the oath to Osama Bin Laden – began using the White American Jihadi for propaganda means and even produced a video featuring mainly Omar Hammami in Spring 2009. „The only reason we are staying here, away from our families, away from the cities, away from candy bars…all these other things is because we are waiting to meet with the enemy“, Hammami said in the propaganda tape in which he also presents an English rap song about Jihad.

„From Somalia and Shishan (Chechnya), from Iraq and Afghanistan, gonna meet up in the Holy Lands, establishing Allah’s Law on the land“ – the American Jihadi sung. Martyrdom, Hammami said in the refrain, was his greatest wish.

According to the 2009 propaganda tape, „Abu Mansour al-Amrikki“ took part in several ambushes on Ethiopian and African Union (AU) troops in Southern Somalia. The last time Omar Hammami appeared in a Al-Shabaab video – giving a speech during a children´s Quran recitation contest in Somalia – was in April 2010. Since then, no word has been spread about the whereabouts of the American Al-Shabaab fighter.

Somali Defense Minister Abdihakim Mohamud Haji Fiqi told news agencies last week, he got intelligence reports stating Hammami was killed or severely injured in a recent government troops´offensive against Al-Shabaab in and around Mogadishu. Their was no 100 percent confirmation on the report, the Defense Minister said, but it seemed credible the American Jihadi was wounded in battle and later died.

Till today, no word of Hammami´s death has reached the Jihadi forums – not even the Somali-language ones. Although Al-Shabaab did not announce the death of its American or just in general foreign fighters with a huge eulogy posting on the forums or a video release, it is very likely the organization will celebrate the martyrdom of its most prominent Western recruit, if Hammami was indeed killed.

A number of American Al-Shabaab fighters died in recent years fighting in Somalia. At least six young men from the Minneapolis region were killed in battle with African Union troops, most of them were American-Somalis, second-generation immigrants and natural-born US citizens. They all had traveled to civil war torn Somalia without informing their parents and joined with Al-Shabaab.

If Omar Hammami did die recently he is the second White American to be killed in Somalia. Troy Matthew Kastigar from Minnesota, a HipHop loving, tattooed former criminal, had converted to Islam and made the journey to Somalia in November 2008. When he arrived in Kenya he contacted his parents for the last time, saying he is now moving into Somalia.

Early September 2007, Kastigar´s family back in the US confirmed media reports that Troy had been killed by Somali government troops in clashes with the Islamists of Al-Shabaab.