March 17, 2012
American Traitor Claims Shabaab Trying to Kill Him
Foreign Fighters Being Arrested, Killed by al Shabaab?
al-Shabaab Responds in Press Release(UPDATED:BUMPED)
An Alabama native who left the US to fight with the al Qaeda pledged al Shabaab group in Somalia has issued a video in which he claims the group may now be trying to kill him. Omar Shafik Hammami -- calling himself "Abu Mansour al-Amriki" --- has appeared in several propaganda videos speaking on behalf of the al Qaeda affiliate. He speaks briefly in English starting around 43 seconds in.
UPDATE by Rusty: I've transcribed the English portion of the video below. An Arabic speaker tells me that he says essentially the same thing in Arabic. Here it is:
To whomever it may reach from the Muslims I'm Abu Mansour al-Amriki.Also, I'll note that the video was uploaded today by a user calling himself somalimuhajirwarrior. Could this be his YouTube channel? It seems likely that it's either his or one of his close associates.
I record this message today because I feel my life may be endangered by Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, due to some differences that occurred between us regarding matters of the sharia and matters of strategy.
Notice the flag that he flies behind him. That's al Qaeda's flag. So, whatever differences he may have with al Shabaab, it doesn't sound like he's renounced his essential commitment to al Qaeda. Which is odd, given that al Shabaab officially joined al Qaeda just a few weeks ago. Some are even now calling them al Qaeda in East Africa (AQEA).
UPDATE: Over at OJihad Florian offers this possible explanation:
A European intelligence source recently spoke to me about the Somali situation and said Al-Shabaab has become very suspicious when it comes to foreign fighters. Some fighters – especially from Kenya and Ethiopia – had been accused of being spies and were executed. Perhaps Hammami is now facing a similar fate.That would explain a lot.
UPDATE: Nothing showing up on Google News about this yet. However, trying to find some story with the Arabic parts of the video translated I came across an article that reminded me about something I hadn't thought about in some time.
When Hammami was in college, he was President of the local chapter of the Muslim Students Association. That would be the same MSA whose websites were being "monitored" by the NYPD which caused such a recent ruckus in the MFM.
UPDATE: I found this at a Kenyan source. It was published hours before the video was released, so there might be something to it:
Al-Amriki differed with [the spiritual leader of al Shabaab Ahmed] Godane over suspicious circumstances in which foreign fighters in the ranks of Al-Shabab were dying or being killed in combat, the highly-placed source said.This is indeed an interesting development. If nothing else, it means that there is some kind of discord going on within the ranks of al Shabaab. The kind of discord that Hammami believes could get him killed.
''We had information early today saying that two foreign fighters, Al-Misri and Salah-Udin - a German, were arrested and detained on the orders of Godane,'' the source told The Jackal News. The two fighters were inquiring from the leader of the rebels about the suspicious circumstances under which the jihadists were being dying, the source added.
UPDATE: Interesting, his once loyal supporters and fans over at AMEF have removed the link to the video that was posted there just two hours ago. Apparently the central node of the English language online jihadosphere wants to keep what appears to be red-on-red violence out of sight and out of mind.
Hat Tip: Jihadology.
Update by Howie 03/17/2012. al-Shabaab's press office released the following statement today.
HSM is surprised by the video of Abu Mansoor #AlAmriki that surfaced on the internet recently claiming that his life is ‘endangered by HSM.So see there, they are guaranteeing al-Amriki's security, I bet he feels so much better. Just turn yourself in Bro. Surely the Muslims are merciful to the Muslims and harsh with the Kufr. Just trust them. No?
A formal investigation is just underway and HSM is still attempting to verify the authenticity as well as the motivations behind the video.
We assure our Muslim brothers that #AlAmriki is not endangered by the Mujahideen &our brother still enjoys all the privileges of brotherhood.
Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen.
Senior Al-Shabaab official tells local Somali media that Omar Hammami will face sharia justice over his unIslamic behavior.No.
Update 03:19/2012 @ 7:52 am cdt: Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki AKA Omar Hamami has reportedly been arrested by al-Shabaab.
Back to Howie, who offers these crocodile tears in the form of a music video ....
Update by Howie: Post bumped to 18:47 from 15:06. Again to 23:00