American Shabaab commander Omar Hammami releases tape that mocks reports of his death
Image from the Al Qimmah Islamic Network announcing the release of Omar Hammami's latest nasheed. Hammami is also known as Abu Mansoor al Amriki.
An American citizen who serves as a senior Shabaab military commander and propagandist mocked reports of his death in a song released on a jihadist website.
Omar Hammami, who is also known as Abu Mansoor al Amriki, released a nasheed, or Islamic song, on the Al Qimmah Islamic Network, a propaganda outlet for the al Qaeda-linked Shabaab. The Long War Journal reported on March 15 that Hammami was not killed in recent fighting in Mogadishu as had been claimed by Somali's defense minister on March 8.
In the clumsy, rap-styled song, Hammami glorifies death while waging jihad and asks to die like other notorious Qaeda commanders [the lyrics and audio are provided in full below].
"Send me a cruise like Maa'lam Adam al Ansari, And send me a couple of tons like Zarqawi, And send me a drone like Abu Laith al Libi, And Special Forces like Saleh Ali Nabhan," the opening chorus of Hammami's nasheed begins.
"Send me all four and send me much much more, I pray for that on my way to heavens door," the chorus continues.
Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed by bombs launched in a US airstrike in Baqubah, Iraq in June 2006; Abu Laith al Libi, the leader of al Qaeda's Brigade 055, was killed in a US Predator airstrike in Pakistan in January, 2008. Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, the top leader of Shabaab and al Qaeda's network in East Africa, was killed during a US Special Operations Forces helicopter raid in Somalia in September 2009. Maa'lam Adam al Ansari is Aden Hashi Ayro, Shabaab's military leader who was killed in an airstrike in the spring of 2008.
Hammami has released similar propaganda in the past. In May 2010, Hammami appeared in another awkward rap-nasheed, titled "First Stop Addis." In that rap, Hammami also claimed he sought to die a martyr.
"My number one goal... die a shaheed," or martyr, he repeated constantly in his May 2010 rap.
Background on Omar Hammami
Hammami is a US citizen who converted to Islam and then traveled to Somalia in 2006. Once in Somalia, he quickly rose through the ranks, and now serves as a military commander. He is one of the many foreign commanders who hold senior leadership positions in Shabaab, which is al Qaeda's affiliate in East Africa. Hammami is one of 14 people indicted by the US Justice Department in August 2010 for providing material support to Shabaab.
Hammami also began appearing in Shabaab propaganda tapes. In one tape, released in May 2010, Hammami stressed that Shabaab's war is not confined to Somalia but is global in nature. "From Somalia and Shiishaan (Chechnya), from Iraq and Afghanistan, gonna meet up in the Holy Lands, establishing Allah's Law on the land," Hammami says in a chorus repeated throughout the song. In the tape, Hammami and others identify their enemy as the "salib," or crusaders.
In February, the Somali government, backed by Ugandan and Burundian forces in the African Union, as well as Ethiopia, launched an offensive against Shabaab. Somalia's President, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, claimed on March 7 that Shabaab "is on the verge of collapse" after the terror group was driven out of several strongholds in the capital of Mogadishu as well as in the Gedo region on the Kenyan border.
The government claimed that Shabaab has lost more than 500 fighters during the offensive. But the African Union has suppressed information about heavy casualties to its own forces. On Mar. 4, it was reported that 53 African Union troops had been killed during the fighting. Although no estimates on the number of Somali troops killed have been released, a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal that Somali forces have suffered heavy casualties during the current fighting.
Listen to Hammami's martydom rap:
Lyrics to Hammami's martydom rap:
Send me a cruise like Maa'lam Adam al Ansari
And send me a couple of tons like Zarqawi
And send me a drone like Abu Laith al Libi
And Special Forces like Saleh Ali Nabhani
Send me all four and send me much much more
I pray for that on my way to heavens door
Send me four and send me more, that what I implore
An amazing martyrdom I strive for and adore
It's been decreed no matter what they try
Islam can't be martyred, defeated and it can't die
Regardless the Kuffar and the Munafiqeen,
Islams only got one choice and that is victory
Stand up heroes of Islam o Mujahideen
Keep moving forward for Allah's word to reign supreme
Respond to the calls of the oppressed and improvise
You've been promised two possibilities in life
It ain't do or die, it's do or paradise
Victory in this life or forever delight
You think we die but no it's a lie
In the bellies of green birds soaring through paradise
Our killed are in the highest place
While yours are in disgrace
Our killed roam their gardens and mansions
With the purest mates
So train those marines hard, one shot one kill
Headshots heart shots, for them it's a big thrill
A moment's joy, but me I'm filled with happiness
Meeting my Lord, faced forward to eternal bliss
There's nothing as sweet as the taste of a tank shell
But it could be compared to being where the mortar fell
But all that could be seen as tasteless
Compared to smart bombs falling when they don't miss
It was a beautiful day, when that predator paradise missile sent me on my way
A one way ticket with no stops or delays, no problems in the grave nor fear on that day
Or better yet send me a cruise, and send me on a cruise
Family rejoices at the news and follows me in what I do
You can't find someone more happy than a shaheed
He got everything but one thing he requests and pleads
To come back and fight and fight and be killed
And keep coming back and getting killed if only Allah willed
But we don't need that, the youth are coming and bold
Every martyr being replaced by 100 fold
So you must admit that you are falling fast
And need to act quick to submit or face more wrath
But if not don't fear we're coming forth
Generations taking Jihad as their favorite sport
Killing the oppressors and being killed in the process
The most beautiful end but how can I express
I profess and strive against those who oppress and transgress
I obsess not depress for martyrdom success