News / Africa

Al-Shabab Militants Kill American Who Cut Ties with Group

Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abu Mansour al-Amriki, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Alabama, is seen in an undated FBI handout photo.  Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abu Mansour al-Amriki, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Alabama, is seen in an undated FBI handout photo.
x
Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abu Mansour al-Amriki, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Alabama, is seen in an undated FBI handout photo.
Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abu Mansour al-Amriki, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Alabama, is seen in an undated FBI handout photo.
VOA News
An American citizen who broke ties with the Somali militant group al-Shabab is reported to have been killed by the group's fighters.

Former militants said in interviews with VOA's Somali service that Omar Hammami died early Thursday when fighters attacked his hideout near the village of Shongoleh in Somalia's Gedo region.  

There was no immediate confirmation from al-Shabab on its Twitter account, which the group often uses to announce attacks.

Hammami has been reported dead before, as his father, Shafik Hammami, told VOA in an interview Thursday from his home in the southern U.S. town of Daphne, Alabama.

"Early this morning, some reporter called me and told me the news," Shafik Hammami said.  "I was shocked and of course did not believe it, because we’ve been through this before many times.  And I was hoping and praying this would be like the news in the past and would not be true.”

The U.S. government has charged Omar Hammami with providing material support to al-Shabab and offered up to $5 million for information leading to his capture.

In an telephone interview with VOA's Somali Service nine days ago, Hammami said he had cut ties with al-Shabab and accused the group's leader, Moktar Abu Zubayr, of seeking power at all costs.

"Basically he’s left the principles of our religion, and he turned the Shabab into an organization that oppresses every single Muslim in efforts to make him the next Siad Barre of Somalia,"  Hammami said.  "He wants to be the leader of Somalia regardless of whether he’s ruled by Sharia or any other law."
 
Hammami said in the interview that al-Shabab was trying to kill him.  He also said he still considered himself a terrorist, and rejected the idea of returning home or speaking with U.S. officials.

Listen to the VOA's Somali Service interview with Hammami:



His father said Thursday that he has spoken to U.S. authorities about his son, but added that he has not had contact with Omar since he left for Somalia in 2006.  He also said he did not know what caused his son to be radicalized and join al-Shabab, which has ties to al-Qaida.

Two other former militants were killed in Thursday's attack, a Somali militant and a British national of Pakistani origin.

The 29-year-old Hammami, who grew up in Alabama, traveled to Somalia in 2006 and joined al-Shabab’s military wing.  The FBI says that in 2007, after Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia, he joined the front lines as a fighter and eventually became a leader in al-Shabab.  

He also served as a propagandist for the group, helping to recruit English-speaking youth through writings, rap songs, and televised statements.
 

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Cabdul Maanyo from: Xamar-Weyne, Somalia
September 12, 2013 10:13 PM
Killings within Al-Shabab are signs of weakness and desperate. Somali government needs military support from Western Powers to eliminate, once and for all, this vicious terrorist organisation. Life will never become normal in Somalia as far as Al-Shabab continues killing with impunity.


by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
September 12, 2013 4:43 PM
Terrorist killed terrorist.....that should not be a "Breaking News"!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid