March 15, 2013
American on FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List Outs Himself on Twitter
An Alabama born man on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List has confirmed ownership of a Twitter account long thought to be his. Omar Hammami, better known by his jihdi name of Abu Mansour al-Amriki, confirmed today that the @abuamerican Twitter account was his.
Prior to today the account tweeted statements as if it was from a personal friend of Hammami's. However, over the past few months it became clear that Hammami himself was doing the tweeting. In recent weeks Hammami simply deflected questions about the authorship of the tweets, but also declined to deny that it was his.
J.M. Berger @intelwire to @abumamerican:Here's a screenshot.
Can we just dispense with the fiction that you're Omar's "spokesman" once and for all? You've been in first person for a week.
Abu M @abumamerican to @intelwire:
at this late juncture in the saga...dispence at will.
The mood of Hammami has been especially dour lately as an apparent rift has broken out between the native Somali fighters of the al Shabaab movement and foreigners. Videos Hammami posted to his YouTube account suggest that the native Somalis have become distrustful of the foreigners that once fought by their side, going so far as to accuse them of various crimes -- including being "spies". At one point Hammami seemed to think that his life was on the line.
In response, Hammami claims that Shabaab has "fallen off the cliff" accusing them of arbitrary court rulings, tribalism, and abandoning the goal of a global Caliphate.
At one time Shabaab leaders had pledged loyalty to al Qaeda.
Although Hammami often tweets on his Salaafi version of Islam and of his dream of a world wide Islamic empire, he seems more comfortable using typical American expressions and can often be seen joking around with counter-terrorism experts -- people who you might expect he'd think were "the enemy".
Just this morning he and our own Howie (@darthodius) had a conversation about St. Patrick's Day in which Hammami noted that his mother's side of the family was Irish. And when describing his rift with al Shabaab, Hammami used a Road Runner v. Wiley Coyote reference.
In any event, I thought the whole thing was very interesting. Here you have a wanted terrorist in Somalia who's been pretty active on Twitter and today confirmed to us all that, yes, it really was him.
To be honest, I've actually become kinda fond of the guy -- if that's possible. As several of us have suggested to him: come home -- you might go to jail, but at least you'll be alive.
And being alive is increasingly not looking realistic if he chooses to stay in Somalia.