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American terrorist feels 'life may be endangered' by Shabaab

An American who quickly rose through the ranks in Shabaab, al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, now says he fears the terror group may kill him.

Omar Hammami, who is also known as Abu Mansour al Amriki ("the American"), released a short, 1:09-minute-long video in which he said he fears Shabaab may kill him due to differences with strategy and the implementation of Islamic law. Hammani's statement was posted by a jihadist known as "somalimuhajirwarrior," or "foreign Somali warrior," on a YouTube website earlier today, the SITE Intelligence Group reported.

"To whomever it may reach from the Muslims, from Abu Mansour al-Amriki, I record this message today because I feel that my life may be endangered by Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahideen due to some differences that occurred between us regarding matters of the Shariah [Islamic law] and matters of the strategy," according to a transcript of the statement that has been provided by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Hammami does not explain the reason for the dispute. Rumors have persisted of divisions in Shabaab over the influence of foreign fighters in the terror group. Shabaab officially merged with al Qaeda in early February after years of operating closely together.

Hammami may have been estranged from Shabaab for several months. SITE notes that Hammami's "last release, an English-language audio lecture titled, 'Lessons Learned,' released in October 2011, was not issued by the Shabaab's media arm, al-Kata'ib, nor did it appear on Shabaab-affiliated websites, but was instead posted by a member of the Ansar al-Mujahideen English Forum (AMEF)."

Hammami has served as a military commander, propagandist, "recruitment strategist, and financial manager" for Shabaab, and is closely linked to al Qaeda, according to the US government. Hammami is on the US's list of specially designated global terrorists.

In May 2011, Hammami spoke at a public rally with other top Shabaab leaders to eulogize Osama bin Laden just 10 days after the death of the al Qaeda leader. During the rally, Hammani appeared with other top al Qaeda-linked Shabaab leaders, including Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansour and Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys.

"We are all Osama," Hammami told the crowd as he spoke at a podium. He also said that Shabaab and al Qaeda would continue their jihad to establish a global Islamic caliphate.

"Today, we remind the Muslims that the caliphate [Islamic rule] shall soon be reborn," Hammani said while eulogizing bin Laden. "May Allah accept our dear beloved sheikh [Osama bin Laden] and cause our swords to become instruments of his avenging."

Hammami has played a crucial role in Shabaab's propaganda efforts to recruit Western fighters to join Shabaab's jihad in Somalia. In December 2011 and January 2012, Hammami appeared in photographs with a Western fighter. The Long War Journal identified the fighter as Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax, an American who recruited for the terror group and left the US in October 2009 to wage jihad in Somalia. Faarax is wanted by the FBI.

Hammami was reported to have been killed in a US airstrike in March 2011, but one month later he released a nasheed, or song, that mocked the reports. In the clumsy rap, Hammami said he wanted to die in a US airstrike or special operations raid, like other top al Qaeda leaders such as Abu Laith al Libi, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, and Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

For more information on Hammami, see LWJ reports, American Shabaab commander speaks at rally for Osama bin Laden in Somalia and US adds American, Kenyan Shabaab leaders to list of designated terrorists.


READER COMMENTS: "American terrorist feels 'life may be endangered' by Shabaab"

Posted by Bungo at March 16, 2012 6:25 PM ET:

Absolutely hilarious. I almost fell out of my chair laughing. He should watch a few Mobster movies and learn how to rub out your rivals before they rub you out. What a Wuss. Life is hard in the Jihadist Mafia.

Posted by Deemery at March 16, 2012 6:48 PM ET:

In the clumsy rap, Hammami said he wanted to die in a US airstrike or special operations raid

Music Critics among the Jihadi???

Seems to me infighting is a sign of progress in counter-insurgency.

Posted by Nic at March 16, 2012 7:51 PM ET:

Just this one time I am siding with Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahideen . And now some advice for Shabaab: clean your AK-47, fire some test rounds and make the necessary adjustments if there are any jams, zero your sights and I wish you good shooting when in the vicinity of Abu Mansour .

Posted by Mr T at March 16, 2012 8:11 PM ET:

Matters of the strategy? What did he do, refuse to be a suicide bomber?

Posted by Eddie D. at March 16, 2012 9:00 PM ET:

Too funny!!

Posted by Eddie D. at March 16, 2012 10:41 PM ET:

He will have to ask the Americans to protect him. lol

Posted by Somali at March 17, 2012 7:17 AM ET:

SOS...President Obama should send the US NAVY SEALS to rescue this endangered American citizen.

Posted by Jim at March 17, 2012 10:53 AM ET:

just minutes ago, HSM surprised:

HSM is surprised by the video of Abu Mansoor #AlAmriki that surfaced on the internet recently claiming that his life is ‘endangered by HSM’

— HSM Press Office (@HSMPress) March 17, 2012

Posted by Jim at March 17, 2012 10:54 AM ET:

and HMS also said he isn't in danger:

We assure our Muslim brothers that #AlAmriki is not endangered by the Mujahideen &our brother still enjoys all the privileges of brotherhood

— HSM Press Office (@HSMPress) March 17, 2012

Posted by Eddie D. at March 17, 2012 1:50 PM ET:

Lol Somali!

HSM is telling him nothing is wrong as they sharpen their swords. lol.

Posted by Devin Leonard at March 17, 2012 8:56 PM ET:

Well, If we kill him first...he won't have to worry about shabaab hurting him:)

Posted by Common55 at March 17, 2012 10:47 PM ET:

Don't trust anything these snakes say. It's all code speak.

Trust in the power of hellfire.


Posted by David Rodden at March 17, 2012 11:17 PM ET:

It's just a Jihadist thang...Thugs R Thugs...

Posted by Devendra at March 18, 2012 2:57 PM ET:

"THE DEVIL DEVOURS IT'S OWN." It is absolutely true.

I wonder if : 1) Has the annal seepage started for Omar Hamami yet? 2) Does he crave a Cheese Burger before Al Shabab jibbahs him?

Go!! Al Shabab. Get this "Amriki Bastard."

Posted by Jared at March 19, 2012 12:31 AM ET:

An American in danger! Send in the troops! What are we waiting for?

Posted by Neonmeat at March 19, 2012 5:44 AM ET:

Fascinating. I have often thought that the Western Jihadists view of what Islam is and what the Sharia applies to is skewed from that of Somali or Afghan hardcore Taliban. For instance Hammanis rap if it contained music may be considered haram by some Muslims. Perhaps it is these cultural differences that have led to this dispute.

Or as Mr T said perhaps they did want him to be a suicide bomber. Educated Western men who are willing to blow themselves up would have a greater psychological impact on the 'enemy' and be a greater recruiting tool of other Western Wannabe jihadis than if it was some nameless Somali boys.

Anyway I love to see these guys fighting each other.

Posted by Max at March 19, 2012 8:27 AM ET:

Life is endangered? I thought these guys were looking for martyrdom!

Posted by Devendra at March 19, 2012 1:36 PM ET:

Come on, Omar. Quit the semantics. What is the difference between a prostitute or a whore. They are one and the same.

So, whether you are killed by your brtheren Al Shabaab or the American Seals; you will be a shaheed, a martyr. Don't tell me you are chickening out.

Remember, Allah is waiting for you with 72 virgin Hoories. Go, get'em, Muji Boy. I am rooting for your getting those Hoories. I am sure you are not getting any in that jungle called Somalia or if even you could, would they be appetizing ones?

Posted by zanaking at March 27, 2012 11:39 PM ET:

Fascinating. I have often thought that the Western Jihadists view of what Islam is and what the Sharia applies to is skewed from that of Somali or Afghan hardcore Taliban. For instance Hammanis rap if it contained music may be considered haram by some Muslims. Perhaps it is these cultural differences that have led to this dispute

Read more:

Posted by Dennis at March 31, 2012 4:50 PM ET:

Awwwww, my heart bleeds for the traitor. Wonder if he will get a thousand virgins or will he lose his virginity?