Shabaab, the al Qaeda-linked terror group that is fighting the Somali government and African Union peacekeepers, claimed that an American named Abdullahi Ahmed carried out the May 30 suicide attack at a military base in Mogadishu. The FBI is investigating the claim. From The Associated Press:
Federal authorities said they are trying to confirm the identity of a suicide bomber who carried out a deadly attack in Somalia after a militant group claimed Thursday that the man was a Somali-American from Minnesota.
The group al-Shabab said 25-year-old Abdullahi Ahmed of Minneapolis bombed the African Union base in Mogadishu on Monday, killing two AU troops and a government soldier. Minnesota, home to largest Somali community in the U.S., has been the center of a federal investigation in recent years into the recruiting and travels of young men who left the U.S. to possibly fight with al-Shabab.
The FBI is aware of the bombing and has agents in East Africa investigating, and the agency is trying to determine the bomber’s identity, said Steve Warfield, an FBI spokesman in Minnesota.
“We are trying to find out who that guy is and if there are any ties to Minnesota, but right now we don’t know,” Warfield said.
If Abdullahi Ahmed was indeed an American and did carry out the attack, he would be the eighth American citizen to have executed a suicide bombing in Somalia, according to a count by The Long War Journal. The last American suicide bomber, a Somali-American from Seattle, killed 21 people, including Major General Juvenal Niyoyunguruza, the commander of Burundian forces in Somalia and the deputy commander for AMISOM, in an attack on a headquarters in Mogadishu in September 2009. General Nathan Mugisha, the AMISOM commander, was lightly wounded.
Omar Hammami, a top Shabaab military commander and recruiter, is an American citizen. He recently spoke at a rally in Afgoye, just south of Mogadishu, where he and the top Shabaab leaders eulogized slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Hammami has released several rap-nasheeds that target potential recruits in the West.