American Shabaab fighter urges Muslims to join the ‘fronts’ of jihad


A previously unidentified American who fights in the ranks of Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, appeared on a videotape and urged Muslims to join one of the numerous fronts of the global jihad.

The American, who is identified as Abu Ahmed al Amriki, is seen on a videotape that was produced by Shabaab’s media arm and posted on jihadist Internet forums on Feb. 25. The video was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Abu Ahmed speaks in both English and Arabic, and appears with two Kenyan jihadists, who are identified as Abu Seyf al Kenyi and Abu Khaled al Kenyi. Abu Ahmed’s face is digitally blurred in the video. He is seen seated with a group of armed fighters; he is also holding a rifle as he speaks.

In his speech, Abu Ahmed implores Muslims to leave their lives of comfort and wage jihad in Somalia, Mali, Afghanistan, Iraq, or the “Islamic Maghreb” — North Africa.

“Brothers and sisters, I won’t take much of your time, but it’s obligatory upon you to leave the lands of [disbelief] and [emigrate]. The fronts, they are all open, whether it’s here in Somalia, whether it’s in Mali, whether it’s in Afghanistan, whether it’s in Iraq, or whether it’s in the Islamic Maghreb – it’s all open,” Abu Ahmed says, according to the transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group.

He urges Muslims who cannot “emigrate” to “fight the enemies of Allah where you find them ….”

Abu Ahmed claims that the West is losing the war against al Qaeda and its allies, and that a global caliphate will soon arise.

“Victory is coming. Your brothers are gaining strength after strength, victory after victory. The defeat of the [disbelievers] is near,” he says.

“America is going down and the Caliphate is rising,” he claims.

Abu Ahmed is one of the “Muhajireen” — the emigrants or foreign fighters who wage jihad in Somalia alongside Shabaab.

Omar Hammami, the American who is better known as Abu Mansour al Amriki, is the most well-known foreign fighter in Somalia. He is feuding with Shabaab, and claims that foreigner fighters are at odds with Shabaab’s leaders. Shabaab has disputed the claims, and has countered that Hammami is a narcissistic self-promoter who has taken advantage of his high-profile media presence to sow dissent between the Somali group and foreign fighters. Other than Hammami’s claims, there is little evidence to support the assertion that there is a split between Shabaab and the Muhajireen.

Two other prominent Americans waging jihad in Somalia are Abu Abdullah al Muhajir, who is Ayman al Zawahiri’s emissary to Shabaab, and Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax.

An estimated 50 Somali-Americans are thought to have been recruited in the US to train and fight with Shabaab. At least two Americans have carried out suicide attacks in Somalia, and Shabaab claimed that two other Americans have carried out such attacks.

For more information on Americans and foreigners who are fighting for Shabaab, see LWJ report, American Shabaab fighter and commander pictured together. For more information on Shabaab’s links to al Qaeda, see LWJ reports, Somalia’s Shabaab vows allegiance to new al Qaeda emir Zawahiri, and Al Qaeda leaders play significant role in Shabaab.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Tags: ,


  • Michael says:

    I have the strangest nagging feeling this guy has been either brainwashed or raised by these scumbags to believe the way he does.

  • Pat says:

    Another nutcase.

  • joe says:

    I notice the kid has a pakul on, but he’s wearing it like he’s from the Eastern US. Also, he’s really clean, and so’s his gear, not worn much. Must be the new guy. Shabaab has got some media dispute going with another American, so it makes sense to bring on an American who’s new and full of idealistic fervor. Wait till he sees what that war’s all about. He won’t last long.

  • mike merlo says:

    a Muslim Commissar has spoken

  • Jason Unwin says:

    So tell me again why it is “wrong” to kill an American who has renounced the United States and taken up arms with the nation’s enemies in a foreign theater of operations? Sorry chum, you lost all your “rights” when you took up arms against the American people. It isn’t worth the risk, cost, resources, or effort to fly a bunch of UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters with FBI agents on board to read him his Miranda rights and put him in hand cuffs.

  • gb says:

    In all my time in the infantry I never had clean hands in the field

  • Scott J says:

    There’s never a drone around when you need one.

  • sjff says:

    Wasn’t he called a narcissist by some other jihadi recently?
    Come on Hammami, strap on the vest!

  • Cindy says:

    GB said, “In all my time in the infantry I never had clean hands in the field”
    Very astute, GB.

  • Infidel4LIFE says:

    Yes, his hands are clean, smooth, he is a propaganda piece for the Salafists, i bet he never gets his hands “dirty”

  • Mr T says:

    I am sure there will be an equal number of Muslims who will implore Muslims to not wage war and get innocent Muslims and non Muslims killed but to wage peace, tolerance, and understanding in 3…2…1..

  • Barry Larking says:

    He is not ‘an American’. He has given that up. He is self identifying with the enemies of his country and seeks to harm others.
    The Independent (London) today (28.02.13) reports that (shock horror!) the U.K. has been “quietly” taking the passports away from such as ex-U.S. citizen Abu Ahmed al Amriki, the better for them to find the ‘martyrdom’ they crave (well, they are getting it anyway) without Blighty obliged to pick up the pieces. According to The Independent, one ‘happy to turn his back on free schooling and healthcare at point of use’ was actually phoning his wife in London congratulating her on producing a son when a Hellfire with his name on it came through the door of his mud hut; good if true. As Americans are wont to say ‘Life can be a real bitch!’

  • Dave says:

    Zip sun fading to the blouse, web gear, and scarf; zip reddish tint from the laterite soils; not even a suntan. One of the times my immature brain actually registered fear was being surrounded by our own with exactly these signs; and it wasn’t the guys shootin’ at us that I was afraid of.
    If he spoke Arabic and it wasn’t dubbed, he picked it up in school in the U.S. This tourist just got off the plane.

  • gb says:

    @Barry Larking…!

  • Neo says:

    So with 2.6 million practicing Muslims in the United States they manage to recruit less than two dozen active militants over a period of 11 years. There were more militants in the United States before 9/11. It’s one problem that seems to be under control for the most part. This guy is little more token to make themselves feel better

  • SlayerMill says:

    Parading Abu Ahmed al Amriki around is no different than what Western nations have done with moderate Muslim leaders and Islamic scholars since 9/11. Delegitimizing the enemy while bolstering your own cause is propaganda 101. Unfortunately for Al Shabaab, jihadist recruitment revolves solely around leaders with strong personalities, not some American piece of cannon-fodder who nobody cares about. This guy is just a show dog performing tricks on command. He was probably given a tasty treat by his Somali handler for being a good boy once the propaganda piece was finished. The very fact that he regurgitates the exact same overused propaganda as every other jihadist, saying the “caliphate is rising” and “victory is near”, just demonstrates my point. He’s simply indulging in theatrics. Besides, who would be swayed to join Al Shabaab’s cause by Abu Ahmed? Judging by how limp-wristed Abu Ahmed appears in this pic, I bet he’s a shining beacon of what jihadists aspire to be. He probably puts the fearless Chechen jihadists from the Soviet-Afghan War, who’ve inspired countless numbers to join the ranks of jihadist groups worldwide, to shame. The same goes for his counterparts Omar Hammimi and Adam Gadahn. There’s Omar Hammimi who’s soon to wind up on the back of a milk carton due to his outspoken criticism of Al Shabaab. Here’s a link to an article for anyone who wants more information about his media campaign against his Al Shabaab:
    Then there’s Adam Gadahn, who’s the most pathetic of all the Americans turned “jihadist”. This guy definitely does multiple takes while filming his propaganda videos to ensure he looks sufficiently outraged, yet pious, much like his idol bin Laden who did the same. Gadahn obviously tries to emulate bin Laden with his similar mannerisms and finger waving in his videos too, it’s actually pretty funny. Gadahn needs to get out of the propaganda business and back to his roots of playing Dungeon & Dragons. Adam, your parent’s miss you living in their basement; it’s time to go home.

  • @ Slayermill
    Don’t you remember this guy? He doesn’t only look familar but he should sound familiar as well because he’s the ‘jihadist’ who did a rap cover of ‘Ambitionz Az a Ridah’ by 2pac. If he wants to gain more street cred, he should entitle it ‘Ambitionz Az a Mujahid’! Is Omar Hammimi going to strike fear into the hearts of the Kufar by rapping his way to a new Caliphate? Maybe he and his American ‘Muhajireen’ can form a supergroup, M.W.A, ‘Muhajireen With Attitude’? Omar needs to step up his game though and get with the times, I mean the Waziristani Taliban are already Auto-tuning the music in their propaganda videos.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram